Journal Article

Restriction of television food advertising in South Korea: impact on advertising of food companies

Soyoung Kim, Youngmi Lee, Jihyun Yoon, Sang-Jin Chung, Soo-Kyung Lee and Hyogyoo Kim

in Health Promotion International

Volume 28, issue 1, pages 17-25
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Restriction of television food advertising in South Korea: impact on advertising of food companies

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The association between exposure to television (TV) food advertising and children's dietary habits has been well established in previous studies. However, the efficacy of restrictions on TV food advertising in the prevention of childhood obesity remains controversial. The South Korean government has recently enforced a regulation, termed the Special Act on Safety Management of Children's Dietary Life, which restricts TV advertising of energy-dense and nutrient-poor (EDNP) foods targeting children. This study aimed to determine the impact of this regulation by examining changes in the TV advertising practices of South Korean food companies since the scheduled enforcement date of January 2010. The total advertising budget, number of advertisement placements and gross rating points (GRPs) for advertisements on EDNP foods aired on the five representative TV channels in South Korea were compared and analyzed for the year before and after January 2010. After January 2010, the total adverting budget, number of advertisement placements and GRPs decreased during regulated hours. Even during non-regulated hours, a significant decline was noticed in the number of advertisement placements and GRPs. The total advertising budget for non-EDNP foods increased, whereas that for EDNP foods decreased at a higher rate in addition to a drop in its percentage share. These results suggest positive changes in TV advertising practices of food companies because of the regulation, thereby lowering children's exposure to TV advertising of EDNP foods and promoting a safer environment that may facilitate child health improvement in South Korea.

Keywords: television; food advertising; regulation; children; South Korea

Journal Article.  4565 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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