A new psychology research shows that snack food ads directly affect increased consumption for both adults and children.
So snack food advertising makes most people eat more. After viewing them children eat almost twice as much, adults (if they’re women on a diet or men) eat around a third more and this effect carries over to foods other than those being advertised and after the adverts have finished. Simply avoiding snacking while watching TV isn’t going to cut it.
The vast majority of adults in the second study, when asked later, had no idea that watching snack food ads would make them eat more, despite the relationship being unremarkable in retrospect. And this is exactly what Harris and colleagues suggest is the key to defending oneself against adverts: understanding the powerful influence they can have on our behaviour, even without our knowledge.