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Parents’ pages: Click off a junk-food diet

Another reason to limit your child’s TV time? The barrage of unhealthy food commercials. Among children ages 2 to 17 who watched broadcast and cable TV in 2005, those ages 8 to 12 viewed the most food ads—about 21 commercials a day and totaling 51 hours a year, reports a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Forty percent of ads were for products like candy, snack foods, sugary cereals, fast foods and soft drinks. That’s troubling news considering some experts blame the rise in childhood obesity on heavy marketing of these high-fat, low-nutrition foods.

Although some companies create ads that encourage kids’ healthy lifestyle choices, turning off the TV and promoting physical activity are the best ways to battle childhood obesity.