Showing posts with label advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advertising. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2015

Teen Use of Electronic Cigarettes May Be a Function of How They Feel About These Products

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief

      The increasing presence of electronic cigarettes over the past few years has not escaped our attention including an uptick on manuscripts to Pediatrics regarding adolescent usage of these devices.  But what makes a teen want to try them—and how does using an e-cigarette influence their desire to start or stop smoking regular tobacco cigarettes? 
       Barrington et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0639) have smoked out the answers to these questions in a study being released this week.  The authors surveyed more than 2000 11th and 12 graders in southern California and found that 24.0% had used an e-cigarette at some point in time and a smaller percentage (18.7%) had smoked a tobacco cigarette and noted a correlation between the two groups.  Of the teens who had used an e-cigarette however in the past 30 days, 40.5% had not used a combustible cigarette. So what drives their desire to use either of these products?   
     The authors look at a variety of psychosocial factors including whether the products are used at home, whether their friends use them, and even whether they view them as harmful or not from a health standpoint.  The take-away is that there are factors identified in this study that are strongly associated with smoking practices in teens—and learning what they are may make for a more effective approach to helping teens quit e-cigarette and conventional cigarette smoking—as well as whether use of one might lead to use of the other.
      The data in this study is guaranteed to light up your conversation with teens about smoking in ways that may make the effectiveness of what you talk about even more effective.  Are you finding some strategies more effective than others in getting teens to not use e-cigarettes, let alone tobacco products?  Are you finding that the psychosocial factors identified in this study are influencing your patients as strongly as they seem to be in the teen population studied?  Share with us your thoughts and solutions to this problem by responding to this blog or sending us an e-letter or posting your thoughts on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Impulsivity and Non-nutritious Food Advertisements: A Worrisome Combination

Photo by Honza Soukup via Flickr
There are studies in the peer-reviewed literature that demonstrate the influence of unhealthy food advertisements on caloric intake of children. Yet what happens when childrenespecially impulsive childrenare exposed to online “advergames” promoting energy-dense, high-calorie foods?

Folkvord et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-3384) perform a fascinating study to show how the power of media persuasion in an impulsive child can triumph over being asked directly to refrain from eating. The impulsive children, along with the non-impulsive children, were randomized to play advergames while being rewarded to not eat while playing these games. Interestingly, this power of media persuasion does not triumph in children who lack impulsivity. In addition, the authors explore how these advergames, even when no reward is offered for non-eating, can contribute to increased caloric intake in both impulsive and non-impulsive children.

If you were skeptical about the role advertising plays in becoming susceptible to eating the product being advertised, this study should remove any doubt of skepticism. In fact, hopefully the media will advertise this study so parents, as well as pediatricians, can recognize the risks of overexposure to food advertisements, particularly the non-nutritious ones, in terms of their association with increased weight gain in children who watch these more than others. This is a study well-worth ingesting your time to read and learn about.

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