Psychologists at the University of Liverpool have come to the conclusion that obese children are more receptive to food adverts on television than normal weight youngsters.
Forty two children, aged nine to 11, were shown a range of commercials, food and non-food. They were then asked questions about the adverts. The obese children were able to recall a much larger proportion of the food adverts than the lean children.
Food and snacks were available during the experiment and it was found that the entire group ate more after watching the adverts, the bite and smile and steaming food pan shots are useful after all. The obese children chose more high-fat and sugar snacks and ate larger amounts than the lean children.
Dr Jason Halford, Associate Director of the university's Kissileff Laboratory, said: "Our research demonstrates the relationship between food television advertising and childhood obesity is not merely a matter of excessive sedentary activity.
"Although advertisers may disagree about the general role food adverts have in causing childhood obesity, it is evident that for children who are overweight, exposure to these adverts exasperates their already unhealthy eating lifestyle."
No research has been done yet to see if working at McDonalds might make Barbie overweight.