A new study suggests that advertisements for junk food might be cluttering many of the web sites most popular with children, Reuters reports. When researchers examined 28 of the web sites most frequented by children, they found that the majority of food products advertised there met experts’ criteria for "foods to avoid." Ads for sugar-laden cereals, candy, soda, or fast food populated a majority of the web sites, such as those run by Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network, said Lori Dorfman, director of the Berkeley Media Studies Group in California and one of the researchers on the study. In contrast, of the 77 advertised products across all the web sites, only five were foods that children should be encouraged to consume, the researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health. Cartoon Network declined to comment on the study, and calls to Nickelodeon were not immediately returned. But a spokesperson for PBS Kids — cited for having "fast food brands represented" on its web site — said that its representation in the study is "misleading." PBS Kids does not accept advertising, and "it does not market food products to children," said Lesli Rotenberg, senior vice president of children’s media. Instead, the site carries, at the bottom of some pages, the logos of various PBS sponsors — which include fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A. "Children will never see an image of a food product," Rotenberg said, noting that PBS Kids has web pages designed to teach kids about healthy eating and avoiding media influences, respectively…

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