Nutritional quality of foods marketed to children in Honduras.
Evidence suggests that exposure to advertising of unhealthy foods may contribute to increased rates of obesity in children. This study examined the extent to which television stations marketed unhealthy foods to children during after-school programming aired over one week in La Ceiba, Honduras. Content analysis was performed on four television stations, including one broadcast station and three cable networks. Eighty hours of programming were recorded and analyzed. Advertised products were categorized as food or non-food items, with food items further classified as healthy or unhealthy. Advertisements were coded as those aimed at children, adults, or both, and chi-square tests were used to compare the proportion of unhealthy advertisements by target audience. A total of 2271 advertisements aired during the observation period, with 1120 marketing products (49.3%). Of those, 397 (35.4%) promoted foods-30.2% were for healthy foods and 69.8% for unhealthy foods. The unhealthy foods were all advertised on cable networks and not the broadcast station. Children appeared to be targeted more than adults in advertisements for unhealthy foods (92.1%, p<0.001). Cable television programming during after-school hours advertised primarily unhealthy foods. Exposure to these advertisements may promote consumption of unhealthy foods by children, increasing their risk of obesity.
Gunderson, MD; Clements, D; Benjamin Neelon, SE
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