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Study: Fast-Food Restaurant Logos ‘Imprinted’ On Children’s Brains

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File photo of a McDonald's sign. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a McDonald’s sign. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS St. Louis) — A new study finds that fast-food restaurant logos are “imprinted” in a child’s brain.

According to Medical Daily, the study focused on 32 children aged 10 to 14 and used logos from McDonald’s, KFC and Rice Krispies. Researchers also showed the children non-food brands like FedEx and BMW. Researchers used an MRI machine to analyze brain activity and blood flow when shown the logos and found that the fast-food logos resonated more than the non-food brands.

“Compared to non-food logos, food logos elicited increased activation in posterior cingulate cortex,” the study found. “Results confirmed that food logos activate some brain regions in children known to be associated with motivation.”

The study, which was published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, was conducted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Amanda Bruce, lead author of the study, told The Independent this is concerning because the research shows that children do not have the capabilities to choose healthy food to eat.

“The theory is the increase in risk-taking behaviour in adolescence is attributed to uneven development in brain regions associated with cognitive control and emotional drive,” Bruce explained to The Independent. “The brains of children are ‘imprinted’ with food logos. Without the necessary inhibitory processes to aid in decision-making, youth are particularly susceptible to making poor choices about what to eat.”

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