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Abstract

In experimental studies, children exposed to television food ads chose less healthy snacks and consumed more food overall, as compared with children exposed only to ads for toys. These findings, however, do not indicate that TV viewing causes a decrease in diet quality or an increase in weight. Other factors correlated with TV watching, such as neighborhood and parent and child characteristics, may be more to blame. We estimate the effect of an additional hour of television on total calories and the quality of food consumed during a day for children 6 to 18 years old. This research is the first to use a first difference (fixed effects) estimation strategy to investigate the impact of television on daily food consumption among children in the United States.

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