Televised food advertising to children has long been dominated by low-nutrient, high-calorie products. In response to public and policy-maker concern, 16 of the nation’s largest food conglomerates participate in a self-regulatory initiative in an effort to improve the nutritional quality of foods advertised to children, known as the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI). This study will include a content analysis to evaluate the impact of the CFBAI on the overall nutritional quality of foods advertised on television to children. Previous studies employing identical content-based measures were conducted in 2005, well before any self-regulatory efforts began, and in 2009, after the CFBAI was fully implemented. The most recent 2009 findings indicate that industry self-regulation resulted in little improvement in the nutritional quality of advertised foods, despite the fact that companies generally complied with their pledges. This new research will gather additional data in 2011 to assess the adequacy of industry self-regulation at meeting several policy goals, including achievement of significant improvements in the overall nutritional quality of foods marketed to children, and an end to the use of licensed characters to promote unhealthy foods. The study will classify the nutritional quality of foods advertised on television to children using a food rating system devised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Go-Slow-Whoa).
Examining the Effects of Industry Self-Regulation on Televised Food Ads Seen by Children
This article assesses the nutritional quality of foods that are advertised with familiar children’s characters. It also examines how frequently familiar characters are paired with health messages in these advertisement. A total of 577 food advertisements that were aired on the most popular broadcast and cable channels during 2011 were … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More