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Trends in marketing foods to children in Slovenian magazines: a content analysis

  • Živa Lavriša (a1), Karmen Erjavec (a2) and Igor Pravst (a1)
Abstract
Objective

Food marketing is an important factor influencing children’s food preferences. In Slovenia the use of magazines is widespread among children. We investigated food advertising in children’s and teens’ magazines (CTM) in 2013 and 2017. The penetration of food advertising was compared with magazines targeting the adult population.

Design

A repeated cross-sectional study. Magazines were searched for branded food references (BFR). All BFR were categorised and evaluated using the WHO Europe nutrient profile model.

Setting

Slovenia.

Subjects

All issues of CTM and a selected sample of issues of adult-targeting magazines and newspapers published in Slovenia in 2013 and 2017.

Results

One hundred and seventy-five issues of CTM (ninety-two in 2013, eighty-three in 2017) and 675 issues of adult-targeted magazines and newspapers were analysed (345 in 2013, 330 in 2017). In 2017, food advertising in CTM dropped notably but the opposite was found for adult-targeted magazines. Regular advertisements dominated in 2017 in CTM, while in 2013, 83 % of BFR types were games/puzzles, competitions and product placements. Chocolate and confectionery were the most advertised in CTM and food supplements in adults’ magazines. Most foods in CTM were classed as ‘not permitted’ in both years (98 % in 2013 and 100 % in 2017).

Conclusions

The advertisements in CTM still mostly refer to unhealthy foods. The extent of food advertising has dropped considerably since 2013. On the contrary, food advertising in printed media targeting adults has increased, chiefly referring to food supplements and foods that do not pass the WHO Europe nutrient profile model criteria.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email igor.pravst@nutris.org
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