Television food advertising to children

New research published in PlosOne has looked at the impact of restrictions on television food advertising to children in the UK. The aim of the restrictions, which were introduced in 2007, was to “reduce significantly the exposure of children under 16 to high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) advertising”. The results showed that while the restrictions were well adhered to, they did not change the exposure of children to HFSS advertising. In fact, exposure of all viewers to advertisements for ‘less healthy’ foods increased following the introduction of the restrictions.

The authors proposed that this indicated that rather than reducing HFSS advertising, advertisers may simply have moved when and on what channels HFSS advertisements were broadcast. The authors conclude that the restrictions did not achieve their aim and this was likely to be because they only applied to a very small proportion of all television broadcast. They call for further interventions to achieve a reduction in exposure of children to ‘less healthy’ food advertising. Read more about this research on PlosOne.

Posted: 16/03/2012 11:34:11 by Barbara Whelan


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