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      Television food advertising to children: a global perspective.

      American Journal of Public Health

      Television, Reproducibility of Results, Persuasive Communication, Male, Humans, Food Industry, Food, Female, Child, Chi-Square Distribution, Advertising as Topic

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          Abstract

          We compared television food advertising to children in several countries. We undertook a collaboration among 13 research groups in Australia, Asia, Western Europe, and North and South America. Each group recorded programming for 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days between 6:00 and 22:00, for the 3 channels most watched by children, between October 2007 and March 2008. We classified food advertisements as core (nutrient dense, low in energy), noncore (high in undesirable nutrients or energy, as defined by dietary standards), or miscellaneous. We also categorized thematic content (promotional characters and premiums). Food advertisements composed 11% to 29% of advertisements. Noncore foods were featured in 53% to 87% of food advertisements, and the rate of noncore food advertising was higher during children's peak viewing times. Most food advertisements containing persuasive marketing were for noncore products. Across all sampled countries, children were exposed to high volumes of television advertising for unhealthy foods, featuring child-oriented persuasive techniques. Because of the proven connections between food advertising, preferences, and consumption, our findings lend support to calls for regulation of food advertising during children's peak viewing times.

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          Most cited references 13

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          The Measurement of Observer Agreement for Categorical Data

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            Obesity in children and young people: a crisis in public health.

             T Lobstein,  L. Baur,  R Uauy (2004)
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              Evidence of a possible link between obesogenic food advertising and child overweight.

               S Dibb,  T Lobstein (2005)
              A recent review of the literature concluded that advertising of foods on television may influence children's food choices and encourage unhealthy diets, but the review acknowledged there was a lack of clear evidence in coming to this conclusion. The present paper examines ecological evidence for a link between advertising to children and the risk of overweight using data from surveys of advertising on children's television and estimates of the prevalence of overweight among children, in the USA, Australia and eight European countries. A significant association was found between the proportion of children overweight and the numbers of advertisements per hour on children's television, especially those advertisements that encourage the consumption of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods (r = 0.81, P < 0.005). A weaker, negative association was found between the proportion of children overweight and the number of advertisements encouraging healthier diets (r = -0.56, P < 0.10). The quantity of advertising on children's television appears to be related to the prevalence of excess body weight among children. Furthermore, the content of the advertising appears to have a specific effect. The findings justify the need for taking precautionary measures to reduce children's exposure to obesogenic marketing practices.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                20634464
                2920955
                10.2105/AJPH.2009.179267

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