Children exposed to large quantity of unhealthy food ads per year

Pre-school children as young as three are being presented with more than 700 television adverts for unhealthy food each year in Northern Ireland and over a 1,000 in the Republic of Ireland.

This is happening even though advertisers are complying with a new broadcasting code limiting ads for foods high in fat, sugar and salt. A study using Broadcasting Authority of Ireland data showed younger children watch a lot of adult TV and programmes after the 9pm watershed, and over half the food ads they see are for unhealthy products.

The research was carreid out by Queen's, the University of Ulster and University College Dublin, and showed that while children have a very clear understanding that fruit and vegetables are healthy, they are much less clear about what is unhealthy, with for example, 57% believing nuggets and chips is a healthy meal. Based on the food ads they see children end up with a very skewed idea of a normal diet, with over 80% of ads promoting junk food and dairy products, and only 6% promoting fruit and vegetables.

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Posted: 25/11/2014 11:35:18 by Laura Keaver


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