TABLE 5-19 Distribution of Significant and Nonsignificant Results by Measure of Exposure to Advertising for the Relationship of Television Advertising to the Adiposity of Younger Children, Older Children, and Teens (For Each Cell, Number of Results with Medium Causal Inference Validity Is Indicated in Parentheses)

Measure of Advertising Exposure

Younger Children (2–5 years)

Older Children (6–11 years)

Teens (12–18 years)

Significant Results

Nonsignificant Results

Significant Results

Nonsignificant Results

Significant Results

Nonsignificant Results

Total Results

11 (4)

6 (2)

44 (14*)

14 (3)

23 (7)

10 (3)

TV ads: observed in natural setting

0 (0)

2 (0)

0 (0)

1 (0)

0 (0)

0 (0)

TV ads: TV viewing only

11 (4)

4 (2)

35 (11*)

8 (3)

18 (5)

8 (3)

TV ads: TV viewing and other media use

0 (0)

0 (0)

9 (3)

5 (0)

5 (2)

2 (0)

*One causal inference validity rating is high, not medium.

Clearly, the descriptive and evaluative characteristics of the evidence base about the relationship between television advertising exposure and adiposity remain nearly the same as for the entire sample. Further examination of this evidence, considering the age of the participants (see Table 5-19), indicated that the preponderance of significant associations is about the same (around 75 percent) for younger children, older children, and teens, regardless of the way in which exposure to advertising was measured. Moreover, the causal inference validity status of the significant and nonsignificant results did not change from that for the whole sample and does not seem to vary by age.

Finding: Statistically, there is strong evidence that exposure to television advertising is associated with adiposity in children ages 2–11 years and teens ages 12–18 years.

As discussed elsewhere, evidence of association is not evidence of causation, and the committee’s interest is in causation and relevance to every-



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