And some kids are genetically programmed to overeat when bombarded by the ads.
The study of nine and ten-year-olds discovered the influence of ad breaks
Researchers at Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Centre, and the C. Everett Koop Institute, United States, tested how a gene previously linked to obesity, played a role in overeating amongst children exposed to ‘food cues.’
In a randomised experiment study 172 children ate lunch until they were full then were immediately shown a 34-minute television show that aired either food or toy advertisements, during ordinary commercial breaks.
The youngsters given snacks during the show and researchers measured how much they tucked in to.
The children were also tested for genetic variations in the Fat Mass and Obesity Associated Gene, known as FTO.
Children who watched food adverts ate an average of 41 per cent more calories of a recently advertised food, than those who watched ads for toys.