How much food advertising is there on Australian television?

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

ABSTRACT 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.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: This study investigated the effect of exposure to television food advertising on accessibility of food-related cognitions and motivation to eat. Design and Main Outcome Measures: We initially developed a word stem completion task to measure accessibility of food-related cognitions. In two subsequent experiments, 160 female undergraduate students (Experiment 1) and 124 overweight or obese community-dwelling women (Experiment 2) viewed a series of television commercials advertising either food or non-food products. They then completed the word stem task and also rated their desire to eat. Results: Exposure to televised food advertisements led to the completion of word stems with more food- and eating-related words in both experiments. It also increased self-reported desire to eat, but only for overweight and obese individuals (Experiment 2). In both samples, there was a positive association between accessibility of food-related cognitions and reported desire to eat following priming with television food advertisements. Conclusion: We conclude that an increased activation of food-related cognitions may provide a mechanism for the link between food advertising and consumption. This has implications for tackling pathological (over)eating.
    Psychology & Health 04/2014; · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social marketing integrates communication campaigns with behavioural and environmental change strategies. Childhood obesity programs could benefit significantly from social marketing but communication campaigns on this issue tend to be stand-alone. A large-scale multi-setting child obesity prevention program was implemented in the Hunter New England (HNE) region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia from 2005--2010. The program included a series of communication campaigns promoting the program and its key messages: drinking water; getting physically active and; eating more vegetables and fruit. Pre-post telephone surveys (n = 9) were undertaken to evaluate awareness of the campaigns among parents of children aged 2--15 years using repeat cross-sections of randomly selected cohorts. A total of 1,367 parents (HNE = 748, NSW = 619) participated. At each survey post baseline, HNE parents were significantly more likely to have seen, read or heard about the program and its messages in the media than parents in the remainder of the state (p < 0.001). Further, there was a significant increase in awareness of the program and each of its messages over time in HNE compared to no change over time in NSW (p < 0.001). Awareness was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in HNE compared to NSW after each specific campaign (except the vegetable one) and significantly higher awareness levels were sustained for each campaign until the end of the program. At the end of the program participants without a tertiary education were significantly more likely (p = 0.04) to be aware of the brand campaign (31%) than those with (20%) but there were no other statistically significant socio-demographic differences in awareness. The Good for Kids communication campaigns increased and maintained awareness of childhood obesity prevention messages. Moreover, messages were delivered equitably to diverse socio-demographic groups within the region.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 10/2013; 10(1):114. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Issues addressed The aim of the present study was to describe food advertising and expenditure on Australian television, and to conduct an audit to assess what proportion of food and beverage television advertisements was consistent with dietary recommendations. Methods Data were acquired from a national media monitoring company for advertisements broadcast in five major Australian cities from 1 September 2010 to 31 October 2010. Content analysis was undertaken on these advertisements and the advertised foods were assessed against the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. The data also included advertising expenditures. Results Most advertised foods were non-core foods (63%), with few advertisements for fruits and vegetables (6%). Advertisements for non-core foods were significantly more frequent during prime time viewing periods (71% vs 60%; P<0.01). High levels of advertising for fast food (28%) and non-core beverages (24%) were recorded. Conclusions The present study found that the foods advertised during the data-collection period were inconsistent with the recommended diet. There are clear areas for policy concern given that the majority of recorded advertisements were for foods classified as 'occasional foods', there were low levels of advertising for fruit and vegetables, and there were no social marketing messages to support healthy eating. So what? The findings of the study suggest that there is an urgent need for more comprehensive regulation of food advertising in Australia.
    Health promotion journal of Australia: official journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals 10/2013; 24(2):137-42. · 0.59 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 21, 2014