Brain Responses to Food Logos in Obese and Healthy Weight Children

ArticleinThe Journal of pediatrics 162(4) · December 2012with39 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.10.003 · Source: PubMed
Objective: To evaluate brain activation in response to common food and nonfood logos in healthy weight and obese children. Study design: Ten healthy weight children (mean body mass index in the 50th percentile) and 10 obese children (mean body mass index in the 97.9th percentile) completed self-report measures of self-control. They then underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while viewing food and nonfood logos. Results: Compared with the healthy weight children, obese children showed significantly less brain activation to food logos in the bilateral middle/inferior prefrontal cortex, an area involved in cognitive control. Conclusion: When shown food logos, obese children showed significantly less brain activation than the healthy weight children in regions associated with cognitive control. This provides initial neuroimaging evidence that obese children may be more vulnerable to the effects of food advertising.
    • "ad of obesity. Similarly, Batada et al. (2008) examined TV advertising to children in order to observe what kind of food marketers encourage them to eat: the results highlighted that foods of low nutritional value and those high in fat and sugar are promoted more than healthy food such as fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Bruce et al. (2013) analysed the response of the brain to food and non-food logos, in particular considering two groups, obese and healthy weight children (10–14 years old). These scholars, through a functional magnetic resonance imaging study, demonstrated that obese children exposed to food logos are more vulnerable to food advertising compared to childr"
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this research is to explore the role of cartoon characters in making fruit and vegetables more appealing to preschoolers: to this end, a sample of kindergarteners (5–6 years old) was involved, after having investigated their familiar food habits and their preferences about characters. Through a play-based methodology they were asked to select the tastiest food, choosing from fruit and vegetables, presented both with and without a sticker showing an image of their favourite characters, and branded salty and sweet snacks, presented in their traditional packaging without cartoon pictures. The findings show that characters deeply influenced children's choices in favour of healthy food, including in those children who were averse: cartoon characters can represent an incisive marketing tool to increase children's appreciation of fruit and vegetables.
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    • "Aspects of cognitive neuroscience research that are applicable to food decision neuroscience and agricultural science in the larger sense include reward processing (Frankort et al. 2012), attention (Nijs, Franken, and Muris 2008; ), memory (Martin et al. 2010; Holsen et al. 2005), affective or emotional responses (Ferriday and Brunstrom 2011; Frank et al. 2010), or motivation (e.g., to food) (Leidy et al. 2011; Martin et al. 2010). While the majority of work in this area has focused on cue reactivity (e.g., responses to food pictures (Sokunbi et al. 2014; Jiang et al. 2013; Frankort et al. 2014; Ness et al. 2014; Szabo-Reed et al. 2015; Lundgren et al. 2013; Holsen et al. 2009)) and understanding how individuals evaluate and make decisions based on the rewarding properties of food (Hill et al. 2014; Toepel et al. 2010), recent work has measured how individuals respond to advertising and branding (McClure et al. 2004; Bruce et al. 2013 Bruce et al. , 2015 ) to understand the underlying processes that lead to food decisions. Unlike fields such as economics or epidemiology, in which a population is studied as a whole in order to predict individual outcomes, cognitive neuroscience methods tend to have sample sizes that are orders of magnitude smaller (Bhaumik et al. 2009 ). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cognitive neuroscience methods have recently been employed to examine the neural underpinnings of food-related decision-making. The emerging field of food decision neuroscience uses cognitive neuroscience tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study how individuals make decisions regarding food intake, purchasing, branding, and advertising. These tools can be employed to inform marketing strategies, advertising, and product differentiation. Results can also be leveraged to aid in the design of food labeling and policy for obesity, advertising to children, and others. While these tools have the promise for advancing agricultural science as well as informing food related policy, there are some potential pitfalls when applying these techniques to new fields. The goal of this paper is to outline some of the major tools used by cognitive neuroscience – beginning with experimental design and behavioral measures, and then followed by a discussion of some of the neuroimaging tools (fMRI, electroencephalography and event-related potentials [EEG/ERP], and magnetoencephalography [MEG]) – and to highlight how those tools have been used to understand food decision-making.
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