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Appetite. 2013 Mar;62:216-24. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.11.030. Epub 2012 Dec 8.

The impact of marketing practices and its regulation policies on childhood obesity. Opinions of stakeholders in Spain.

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Department of Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine, Public Health and History of Science, Public Health Research Group, University of Alicante, Ap 99, C.P. 03080, San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain.


The aim of this study was to identify Spanish stakeholders' views on the relationship between childhood obesity and the marketing and advertising of food and beverages aimed at children in Spain, as well as on the corresponding of regulations. We performed a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with Stakeholders/Key Informants (KI) from 13 organisations: experts (2), consumer advocates (1), public health advocates (2), food manufacturers (2), advertising advocates (1), government representatives (1), child/family/school advocates (2) and media (1). The variables studied were Prevalence of childhood obesity and its relationship to marketing/advertising and Regulation of marketing. In order to identify the most relevant arguments (pearls) in the discourses, a blind independent analysis by four members of the research team was performed. We found that the prevalence of childhood obesity was perceived to be higher than the European average. Self-regulation was identified as the main form of marketing control. Only food manufacturers and advertising agencies considered voluntary action and supervisory procedures to be effective. The other stakeholders advocated state control through legislation and non-state actions such as external assessment and sanctions. Despite the divergence of opinion between stakeholders, there was agreement on the need to improve supervision and to ensure compliance with current self-regulatory codes in Spain.

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