To explore differences in the prevalence of outdoor food advertising, and the type and nutritional content of advertised foods, according to an area-based marker of socio-economic position (SEP) in a city in Northern England.
All outdoor advertisements in the city were identified during October–December 2009, their size (in m2) estimated and their location determined using a global positioning system device. Advertisements were classified as food or non-food. Food advertisements were classified into one of six food categories. Information on the nutritional content of advertised foods was obtained from packaging and manufacturer's websites. An area-based marker of SEP was assigned using the location of each advertisement, grouped into three affluence tertiles for analysis.
A city in Northern England.
In all, 1371 advertisements were identified; 211 (15 %) of these were for food. The advertisements covered 6765 m2, of which 1326 m2 (20 %) was for food. Total advertising and food advertising space was largest in the least affluent tertile. There was little evidence of socio-economic trends in the type or nutritional content of advertised foods.
Despite an absence of socio-economic differences in the type and nutritional content of advertised foods, there were socio-economic differences in food advertising space. There may also be socio-economic differences in exposure to outdoor food advertising.
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