Journal Article

Food advertising on Australian television: the extent of children's exposure

Leonie Neville, Margaret Thomas and Adrian Bauman

in Health Promotion International

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 105-112
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online February 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dah601
Food advertising on Australian television: the extent of children's exposure

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The objective of this study was to investigate the extent and nature of food advertising during Australian children's television (TV) viewing hours and programs, and to determine whether confectionery and fast food restaurant advertisements were more likely to be broadcast during children's programs than during adults' programs on Sydney television stations. One week (390 h) of Australian advertising data broadcast during children's TV viewing hours over 15 television stations were analysed to determine the proportion of food advertisements and, in turn, the proportion of those advertisements promoting foods high in fat and/or sugar. One week (346 h) of confectionery and fast food restaurant advertisements broadcast over three Sydney television stations were analysed to determine whether these types of advertisements were more likely to be advertised during children's programs than adults' programs. Half of all food advertisements promoted foods high in fat and/or sugar. ‘Confectionery’ and ‘fast food restaurants’ were the most advertised food categories during children's TV viewing hours. Confectionery advertisements were three times as likely, and fast food restaurant advertisements twice as likely, to be broadcast during children's programs than adults' programs. It can be concluded that foods most advertised during children's viewing hours are not those foods that contribute to a healthy diet for children. Confectionery and fast food restaurant advertising appears to target children. Australian children need protection from the targeted promotion of unhealthy foods on television, but currently little exists.

Keywords: children; food advertising; obesity; television

Journal Article.  4651 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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