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Television food advertising and the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity: a multicountry comparison

  • Janny M Goris (a1), Solveig Petersen (a2), Emmanuel Stamatakis (a3) and J Lennert Veerman (a4)
Abstract
Objective

To estimate the contribution of television (TV) food advertising to the prevalence of obesity among 6–11-year-old children in Australia, Great Britain (England and Scotland only), Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden and the United States.

Design

Data from contemporary representative studies on the prevalence of childhood obesity and on TV food advertising exposure in the above countries were entered into a mathematical simulation model. Two different effect estimators were used to calculate the reduction in prevalence of overweight and obesity in the absence of TV food advertising in each country; one based on literature and one based on experts’ estimates.

Setting

Six- to eleven-year-old children in six Western countries.

Results

Estimates of the average exposure of children to TV food advertising range from 1·8 min/d in The Netherlands to 11·5 min/d in the United States. Its contribution to the prevalence of childhood obesity is estimated at 16 %–40 % in the United States, 10 %–28 % in Australia and Italy and 4 %–18 % in Great Britain, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Conclusions

The contribution of TV advertising of foods and drinks to the prevalence of childhood obesity differs distinctly by country and is likely to be significant in some countries.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email Janny_Goris@health.qld.gov.au
References
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