Public Health Nutrition

HOT TOPIC – Food environment

The effects of television and Internet food advertising on parents and children

Simone Pettigrewa1 c1, Liudmila Tarabashkinaa2, Michele Robertsa3, Pascale Questera2, Kathy Chapmana4 and Caroline Millera5

a1 UWA Business School and UWA School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia

a2 University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

a3 UWA Business School, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia

a4 Cancer Council New South Wales, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia

a5 South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Abstract

Objective The current study examined the impact of television and Internet food advertising on Australian parents and children.

Design Parents and their children aged 8 to 14 years were exposed to a television advertisement, an Internet advertisement or a control picture for four commonly advertised energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods.

Setting Online web panel survey, Australia.

Subjects Parents (n 1302) and their children aged 8 to 14 years (n 1302).

Results After a single exposure to each advertisement, parent respondents in the two exposure conditions evaluated the products more favourably, had a greater desire to consume the products and thought the product could be consumed more frequently than those in the control condition. Similar trends were observed among children, although the differences were statistically significant only for the frequency of food consumption in the Internet advertisement condition and the evaluation of one product.

Conclusions The results have implications for assumptions of adults’ immunity to advertising. This is of particular importance in efforts to address child obesity and the reliance on parents to mediate the effects of food advertising.

(Received August 10 2012)

(Revised March 11 2013)

(Accepted March 12 2013)

(Online publication May 01 2013)

Keywords

  • Food advertising;
  • Television;
  • Internet;
  • Parents;
  • Children

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Email simone.pettigrew@uwa.edu.au

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