Child obesity continues to be one of the greatest and most expensive health problems in Europe. Approximately 15% of European adolescents and a similar percentage (14.6%) of 11 to 15 years old Romanian adolescents are overweight or obese. It is estimated that 60% of prepubertal children will be overweight as adults, while 77% to 92% of obese adolescents will maintain this status into adulthood. Among the health problems associated with obesity are type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease or certain types of cancer.

The ubiquity of highly processed and hypercaloric foods, together with the aggressive promotion of these foods by profile companies are among the most incriminated environmental factors in child obesity. The creation of social images associated to sweet or salted hypercaloric foods (AHDS) seems to be among the most important vehicles for promoting AHDS products for young people. Of the individual factors that could modulatethe effects of social images on consumption behaviors of AHDS, preexisting emotion and its regulation strategies seem to emerge as more relevant.

The general objective of this project is to investigate the relationship between social images of AHDS promoted in television and online advertisement and teenagers’consumption behaviors, as well as the roles of individual emotional factors (types of emotions and emotional regulation) that intervene in this relationship.


This general objective is divided into the following specific objectives:

1) investigating the frequency of positive social images being associated with AHDS in advertisement addressed to young people, both via mainstream media channels and via digital (online) channels;

2) investigating their effects upon consumption behaviors (food options and consumed quantity);

3) investigating the  potential individual mediators/moderators (emotions and self-regulation strategies) that play a role in this relationship.


This project is financed by through the research grant  PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2551, contract nr. 292.