How much food advertising is there on Australian television? Health Promot Int

Health Strategies Division, The Cancer Council NSW, Kings Cross NSW 1340, Australia.
Health Promotion International (Impact Factor: 1.94). 10/2006; 21(3):172-80. DOI: 10.1093/heapro/dal021
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive content analysis of television food advertising and provide data on current levels of food advertising in Australia. All three commercial stations available on free-to-air Australian television were concurrently videotaped between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on two weekdays and both weekend days in four locations across Australia to provide a total of 645 h for analysis. Each advertisement was categorized as 'non-food ad', 'healthy/core food ad' or 'unhealthy/non-core food ad' according to set criteria. Thirty-one percent of the advertisements analyzed were for food. Eighty-one percent of the food advertisements identified were for unhealthy/non-core foods. When comparing the results of this study with previous research, it was found that the number of unhealthy advertisements screened per hour had not changed over the past few years. On weekdays, the number of advertisements increased throughout the day to peak at more than five advertisements per hour in the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot. The early morning time slot on Saturday was the most concentrated period for advertising unhealthy/non-core food with more than six advertisements screened per hour. The regional areas screened a significantly lower level of unhealthy/non-core food advertisements (19.5%) compared with the metropolitan areas (29.5%). Fast food and takeaway was the most advertised food category, followed by chocolate and confectionery. A total 194 breaches of the Children's Television Standards were identified according to our interpretation of the standard. It is well recognized that childhood obesity is a worldwide problem. The heavy marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods influences food choices and contributes to the incidence of overweight and obesity in children. Despite the recognition of this growing problem, little has been done to ensure children are protected against the use of large volumes of unhealthy/non-core food advertising.

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    • "This reliability check was only performed for audience orientation and not for the food categorization procedure. Table 1 Criteria to determine advertisement orientation (target audience) and displayed food categories (target food categories) Target audience (children) Target audience (adults) Animation Adults or adult celebrities Children or child celebrities Adult-oriented music Pets or animals Adult-focused voice or dialogue Identifiable cartoon characters, mascots, promotion of fun Child-focused music Child-friendly voice or dialogue English words and expressions Children singing Adapted from Chapman et al. 2006 [34] Inter-coder reliability was 95.8 % in the present study. All discrepancies emerging during the process were discussed within the research team. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Research showed that food marketing for children frequently contradicts national dietary guidelines. Children, unlike adults, are not able to understand the persuasiveness of the advertisements with its short- and long-term effects on health, thus the common international tenor is to restrict food marketing. In the European Union, marketing restriction based on self-regulation have been initiated (EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria). The study aims contribute to depict the status quo of television advertisement targeted at children before the pledged initiative came into full effect. Methods: In this study we analyze the quality and displaying frequency of a set of advertisements targeted at children broadcasted on Austrian television. Promoted food products targeted at children or adults were identified. Category-based analysis of the displayed food was performed based on the Austrian Nutrition guidelines (number of displayed food per food category). The children's food content was analyzed according to the newly established nutritional quality criteria for advertised food in the EU to assess the nutritional quality of the depicted food. Results: In total, 360 h of video material was recorded in February and March 2014. A set of 1919 food advertisements, with 15.1 % targeted at children were broadcasted. Of all food advertisements targeted at children, 92.4 % was for fatty, sweet and salty snacks, while no advertisements for vegetables, legumes or fruits were shown. From all food advertisements for children, 65.9 % originated from participating companies of the EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria. Further analysis revealed that 95.9 % of the advertised food for children showed at least one aspect of nonconformity with the EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria; on the contrary 64.7 % of the displayed food advertisement also featured at least one desirable food component (e.g. high fibre content, high protein content). Conclusions: The present research suggests that the majority of advertised food for children do not conform with the pledged criteria as defined in the EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria and almost all advertisements would be prohibited. We discuss our findings in the context of public health nutrition and present a perspective for future directions in this important field of research.
    BMC Public Health 09/2015; 15(1):910. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-2275-3 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "In Australia, people are comfortable with the term ‘junk food’ when describing foods and drinks of limited nutritional value. ‘Junk food’ or EDNP foods have been defined as any food (including beverages) high in fat, sugar and/or salt with little nutritional value or discretionary/non-core foods such as fast foods, sweetened breakfast cereals, confectionery or fizzy drinks [9,10]. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating defines non-core foods as ‘extras’ or ‘discretionary’ and specifies the types of foods based on a 600 kiloJoules equivalent [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing intakes of fruits and vegetables intake, in tandem with reducing consumption of energy-dense and nutrient poor foods and beverages are dietary priorities to prevent chronic disease. Although most adults do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, teenagers and young adults tend to have the lowest intakes. Young adults typically consume a diet which is inconsistent with the dietary recommendations. Yet little is known about the best approaches to improve dietary intakes and behaviours among this group. This randomised controlled trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of using a mobile device to assess dietary intake, provide tailored dietary feedback and text messages to motivate changes in fruit, vegetable and junk food consumption among young adults. The CHAT project will involve the development of the mobile device food record (MDFR), and evaluation of dietary feedback and implementation of a 6-month intervention in young adults aged 18 to 30 years. The participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups (1) Intervention Group 1: MDFR + Text Messages + Dietary Feedback; (2) Intervention Group 2: MDFR + Dietary Feedback; (3) Control Group 3: MDFR, no feedback. All groups will undertake a 3-day dietary record using the MDFR but only the Intervention Groups 1 and 2 will receive tailored dietary feedback at baseline and at 6-months which will consist of assessment of serves of fruits, vegetables and junk food in comparison to dietary recommendations. Tailored nutrition text messages will be sent to Intervention Group 1 over the 6 months. Data will be collected at baseline and again at the 6-month completion. This trial will test if applications running on mobile devices have potential to assess diet, provide tailored feedback and nutrition messages as an effective way of improving fruit and vegetable consumption and reducing energy-dense nutrient poor foods in young adults. The CHAT project will assess the impact of the intervention on behavioural intention to eat a more healthful diet. This innovative approach if successful may provide a means to deliver a low cost health promotion program that has the potential to reach large groups, particularly young adults. Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000250831.
    BMC Public Health 06/2012; 12(1):477. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-477 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "For the past several decades childhood obesity rates around the world have been increasing in a seemingly inexorable fashion (de Onis, Blossner, & Borghi, 2010). As energy-dense, nutrition-poor foods are typically advertised heavily in children's television timeslots there has been a natural interest in determining the extent to which the promotion of such foods has contributed towards increases in childhood obesity (Chapman, Nicholas, & Supramaniam, 2006; Kelly, Smith, King, Flood, & Bauman, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that until 8 years of age most children are cognitively incapable of appreciating the commercial purpose of television advertising and are particularly vulnerable to its persuasive techniques. After this age most children begin to describe the 'selling' intent of advertising and it is widely assumed this equips them with sufficient cognitive defences to protect against advertisers' persuasion attempts. However, much of the previous literature has been criticised for failing to differentiate between children's awareness of 'selling' versus 'persuasive' intent, the latter representing a more sophisticated understanding and superior cognitive defence. Unfortunately there is little literature to suggest at what age awareness of 'persuasive intent' emerges; our aim was to address this important issue. Children (n = 594) were recruited from each grade from Pre-primary (4-5 years) to Grade 7 (11-12 years) from ten primary schools in Perth, Western Australia and exposed to a McDonald's television advertisement. Understanding the purpose of television advertising was assessed both nonverbally (picture indication) and verbally (small discussion groups of 3-4), with particular distinction made between selling versus persuasive intent. Consistent with previous literature, a majority of children described the 'selling' intent of television advertising by 7-8 years both nonverbally and verbally, increasing to 90% by 11-12 years. Awareness of 'persuasive' intent emerged slowly as a function of age but even by our oldest age-group was only 40%. Vulnerability to television advertising may persist until children are far older than previously thought. These findings have important implications regarding the debate surrounding regulation of junk food (and other) advertising aimed at children.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 02/2011; 72(6):962-8. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.018 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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