Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Life Exclusive
Fast food TV ads linked with obesity: Study

The study revealed that Individuals who are more familiar with television commercials of fast-food restaurants may have food consumption patterns that include many types of high-calorie food brands, or they may be especially sensitive to visual cues to eat while watching TV

Obesity among young people? Blame it on the television commercials of fast-food restaurants. While eating a lot of fast food increases the risk of obesity, a new research shows that even the exposure to television advertising on fast-food restaurants is linked with obesity in young people.

The research was conducted by Paediatric Academic Societies (PAS). According to Auden C McClure, MD, MPH, FAAP and assistant professor in the Department of Paediatrics at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, “We know that children and adolescents are highly exposed to fast-food restaurant advertising, particularly on television. This study links obesity in young people to familiarity with this kind of advertising, suggesting that youth who are aware of and receptive to televised fast-food marketing may be at risk for health consequences.”

While earlier research had shown that obesity is associated with watching television, this research was aimed to determine whether recognition of fast-food ads on TV is associated with obesity in adolescents and young adults.

The researchers surveyed 3,342 youths, between the ages of 15 to 23 years. They were asked details such as height, weight, age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and exercise, along with other questions like their consumption of soda or sweet drinks, frequency of eating at quick-service restaurants, how many hours they watched TV each day, and whether they snacked while watching TV.

The participants were also shown 20 still images, digitally edited to remove the brand, selected from television ads for leading restaurants, serving fast food, that were aired in the year before the survey. They were asked if they remembered seeing, if they liked the ad and if they could name the restaurant brand. They were also shown 20 ads for alcohol.

According to the survey, 18% of the participants were found to be overweight and 15% were obese. It revealed that the percentage of youth who were obese was significantly higher among those who recognized more ads than those who recognized few ads (17% Vs 8.3%). The research also said that even after controlling for the listed variables, youths who recognized many ads were more than twice as likely to be obese compared with those who recognized few ads.

Dr McClure explains that, “A similar association with obesity was not found for familiarity with televised alcohol ads, suggesting that the relationship was specific to fast-food advertising content.”  He adds, “After accounting for overall TV time, TV ad familiarity was still linked with obesity suggesting that this finding is not simply due to increased sedentary time or an effect of TV programming.”

Interestingly, according to the research, eating more frequently at fast-food restaurants depicted in the ads was not associated with obesity. “The relation between fast-food marketing and obesity is not simply that it prompts more quick-serve restaurant visits,” said study co-author James D Sargent, MD, FAAP, professor in the Department of Paediatrics at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. “Individuals who are more familiar with these ads may have food consumption patterns that include many types of high-calorie food brands, or they may be especially sensitive to visual cues to eat while watching TV. More research is necessary to determine how fast-food ad familiarity is linked to obesity,” he added.


Public Interest Exclusive
CIC directs disclosure of forwarding letters of complaints received against Supreme Court and high court judges

The department of justice submitted that though the copy of forwarding letters are available in its record, to club those copies for the last three years would be a time consuming task

In a landmark order, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the law ministry to disclose the forwarding letters it has received, attached with the complaints filed against the retired and sitting judges of the Supreme Court and high courts.

The CIC’s order came while it was hearing a Right to Information (RTI) plea filed by Delhi-based activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal. In his application, dated 18th May 2011, Mr Agrawal had sought complete information on the complaints received against retired and sitting chief justices/judges of higher courts, including those of the Supreme Court and high courts, in last three years by the department of justice, under the law ministry.  
Information Commissioner Sushma Singh, while hearing the plea held that, “The request is reasonable.”

The department of justice submitted that though the copy of forwarding letters are available in its record, to club those copies for the last three years would be a time consuming task since the information would be in different files. However, the commission observed that Mr Agrawal is no longer seeking copies of complaints; he only wants copies of forwarding letters sent by the department.

The ministry agreed to provide the information on such forwarding letters. However, it expressed that it is “a time consuming task and it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority.”

Mr Agrawal, considering the ministry’s view, requested that he should at least be provided with copies of forwarding letters from the past one year.

CIC directed immediate disclosure of such letters dating back to last one year and asked the officials to trace records for three years and provide it to the applicant. It also directed the ministry to, “properly maintain their records in such a manner as can easily be retrieved whenever information is sought under the RTI Act.”
According to PTI, the ministry had earlier claimed that it cannot provide copies of complaints because these complaints are forwarded to Chief Justice of India and chief justices of high courts in the respective cases. It had also said that the ministry officials do not keep a record of these complaints.



P M Ravindran

5 years ago

It is good to know that Information Commissioner Sushma Singh can also deliver some partly correct orders sometimes. Yes, partly correct, because it is imperative that when there has been delay in providing providable information, the PIO has to be penalised for the delay!

Adarsh Scam: ED registers money laundering case against Ashok Chavan, 13 others

The Enforcement Directorate said it is awaiting CBI to complete investigation and submit charge sheet and it will then take a decision on registration of FIR and arrest of accused

Mumbai: Maharashtra's former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and 13 others have been slapped with a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for their alleged involvement in the Adarsh housing scam, reports PTI.

"An Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on 5th March against 14 persons. The 14 persons are the same who have been named as accused by the Central Bureay of Investigation (CBI) in their FIR," senior counsel RV Desai appearing for ED told the Bombay High Court on Monday.

A division bench of Justices SA Bobade and Mridula Bhatkar were hearing a bunch of petitions filed by social activists Pravin Wategaonkar and Simpreet Singh seeking ED to register case and for High Court to supervise the investigations of CBI and ED.

"The accused persons got clearances to construct Adarsh illegally and obtained flats at a very low price compared to market value. The accused projected tainted property as untainted. Prima facie it constitutes offence under section 3 of PMLA," the ECIR states.

The High Court took the ED to task for the way it has dealt with the case. "In December last year the court had asked ED to make a statement on applicability on provisions of PMLA. But even today the agency is not able to make a conclusive statement on PMLA," Justice Bobade said.

"You (ED) say investigation has been initiated with registration of ECIR. So you must be having some material before you at this stage. On the basis of that material you should be able to make statement on when you will register an FIR in the case and when you will arrest the accused persons," the bench said.

Adv Desai told the court that the agency needs to find out if the accused persons had procured flats in the Adarsh society through funds which were proceeds of crime.

"We are awaiting CBI to complete its investigation and submit its charge sheet. ED will then take a decision on registration of FIR and arrest of accused," Adv Desai said.

CBI informed the court that it would complete its probe by 15th June and file its charge sheet thereafter. The court has adjourned the matter till 18th June.

The ED had earlier issued summons to the members of the Society directing them to furnish information regarding purchase of flats in the 31-storey housing society in south Mumbai and mode of payment.

Those arrested include Society's secretary RC Thakur, retired brigadier MM Wanchoo, former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and Pradeep Vyas, former collector of Mumbai.

The CBI, which registered a case in January last year against 14 people, has so far arrested nine persons including IAS officers Jairaj Phatak and Ramanand Tiwari, retired Major generals AR Kumar and TK Kaul and PV Deshmukh, a former deputy secretary in the Urban department.

The remaining five accused are Mr Chavan, former principal secretary to the chief minister Subhash Lala, retired Col TK Sinha, retired brigadier PK Rampal and retired deputy GOC RC Sharma.


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