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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2011 Apr;35(2):127-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00610.x. Epub 2011 Mar 7.

Food advertising on children's popular subscription television channels in Australia.

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  • 1Prevention Research Collaboration, University of Sydney, New South Wales.



Trends on Australian free-to-air television show children continue to be exposed to a disproportionate amount of unhealthy food advertising. This study describes the nature and extent of food marketing on the Australian subscription television channels most popular with children.


Advertisements broadcast on the six subscription television channels most popular with children were recorded over four days in February 2009. Advertised foods were coded as core/healthy, non-core/unhealthy or miscellaneous/other, and for persuasive marketing techniques (promotional characters, premium offers and nutrition claims).


The majority of foods advertised were non-core (72%), with a mean rate of 0.7 non-core food advertisements broadcast per hour, per channel. The frequency of non-core food advertisements differed significantly across channels. Persuasive techniques were used to advertise non-core foods less frequently than core and miscellaneous foods.


Non-core foods make up the majority of foods advertised on children's popular subscription channels. However, Australian children currently view less non-core food advertising on subscription television compared with free-to-air. Unlike free-to-air television, subscription services have the unique opportunity to limit inappropriate food marketing to children, given they are less reliant on advertising revenue.

© 2011 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2011 Public Health Association of Australia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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