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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Apr;108(4):710-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.01.006.

Food marketing on popular children's web sites: a content analysis.

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  • 1University of Illinois at Chicago, Psychology, Chicago, IL 60607, USA. ealvy2@uic.edu

Abstract

In 2006 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that food marketing was a contributor to childhood obesity in the United States. One recommendation of the IOM committee was for research on newer marketing venues, such as Internet Web sites. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to answer the IOM's call by examining food marketing on popular children's Web sites. Ten Web sites were selected based on market research conducted by KidSay, which identified favorite sites of children aged 8 to 11 years during February 2005. Using a standardized coding form, these sites were examined page by page for the existence, type, and features of food marketing. Web sites were compared using chi2 analyses. Although food marketing was not pervasive on the majority of the sites, seven of the 10 Web sites contained food marketing. The products marketed were primarily candy, cereal, quick serve restaurants, and snacks. Candystand.com, a food product site, contained a significantly greater amount of food marketing than the other popular children's Web sites. Because the foods marketed to children are not consistent with a healthful diet, nutrition professionals should consider joining advocacy groups to pressure industry to reduce online food marketing directed at youth.

PMID:
18375231
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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