A new study has reportedly concluded that “the more a child is familiar with logos and other images from fast-food restaurants, sodas and not-so-healthy snack food brands, the more likely a child is to be overweight or obese.” T. Bettina Cornwell, “Children’s knowledge of packaged and fast food brands and their BMI: Why the relationship matters for policy makers,” Appetite, July 2014. According to a recent press release, researchers found that among two groups of children aged 3 to 5 years, the preschoolers best able to match pictures of food items, packaging and cartoon characters with the corresponding logos were more likely to have higher body mass indexes (BMIs) than those with little knowledge of food and beverage brands. In particular, the study noted that only in one group of children did exercise appear to mitigate this association.

“The inconsistency across studies tells us that physical activity should not be seen as a cure-all in fixing childhood obesity,” one author was quoted as saying. “Of course we want kids to be active, but the results from these studies suggest that physical activity is not the only answer. The consistent relationship between brand knowledge and BMI suggest that limiting exposure might be a step in the right direction too.” See Michigan State University Press Release, June 27, 2014.