Study links fast-food TV ads to childhood obesity

ATLANTA (AP) -- A restaurant industry spokeswoman says a new study linking obesity and fast-food ads is based on old information.

At issue is a study suggesting that banning fast-food ads on TV could reduce the number of obese young children by 18 percent. The number of obese older kids could drop by 14 percent.

The study is based in part on several years of government survey data from the late 1990s. A spokeswoman for the National Council of Chain Restaurants says restaurant menus have changed a lot since then, including healthier options.

She also argues that parents -- not kids -- have control over most of a family's food spending.

The study is being published this month in the Journal of Law & Economics.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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