The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition created a study that examined how/if advergames affect children’s eating habits. Advergames promote brands, products, or messages in a video game. This study suggested playing advergames that contain food cues increased the general intake of energy-dense foods. “Some kids can’t get enough of online games where they can pretend to run a candy factory or decorate cakes. But children who play with these games may eat more, and eat more junk food . . .”
Children who play advergames are less likely to realize that an advertisement is hidden within the game. I was curious to see what an advergame was all about, so I went to Disney’s website. On their home page, games and activities are featured second. I decided to play “Sugar Rush” which was promoting Disney’s new film Wreck-It Ralph. Sugar Rush said, “Players always come back to race through this edible world made entirely out of candies, cakes and sweets.” I began racing through a fantasy candy land with my new driver, Minty. Trees were made out of peppermint sticks with cotton candy and gumdrops cheered along the side of the racetrack. Wreck-It Ralph is not a movie about candy, cakes, and sweets so I’m confused as to why their associated game is.
Advergames have the ability to influence children’s intake of energy-dense foods. Kids today can easily access iPhone’s, iPad’s, computers, etc. and therefore are exposed to food cues. I think it’s important for parents to make sure games their children play are age appropriate, since children are more likely to be persuaded by advergames than adults. WP 4/8