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Community Dent Health. 2002 Jun;19(2):86-9.

Television advertising of foodstuffs potentially detrimental to oral health--a content analysis and comparison of children's and primetime broadcasts.

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  • 1Dental Public Health Unit, University of Wales College of Medicine, Dental School, Cardiff, UK.



The study aimed to examine the nature, content and duration of advertisements broadcast during children's television; determine the proportion of advertisements promoting food; identify the potential of the food advertised to be detrimental to oral health; and to compare the nature and content of advertisements aimed at children with those transmitted during evening 'primetime' television.


Children's and primetime television, broadcast on a main independent terrestrial channel in South Wales were video recorded, 237 and 42 hours being analysed in total.


Analysis of the recording resulted in a total of 3,236 commercials, of which 2,345 were broadcast during children's television and 891 in primetime. During children's TV, 62.5% of advertising time was devoted to foodstuffs, significantly greater (P< 0.001) than the 18.4% of time spent advertising foods during primetime. Of the time spent advertising foods, during children's television 73.4% was devoted to products deemed potentially detrimental to oral health (primarily high in sugar), compared to 18.6% similarly categorised during evening television.


Commercials for products which have the potential to adversely affect oral health constitute a large proportion of advertising time during children's television. Current codes of the Independent Television Commission governing advertising directed at children should be reviewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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