Child obesity - food advertising in context

22 July 2004

This summary and the report that follows draw upon the results of:

  • two reviews of academic literature
  • background data on national lifestyle change
  • re-analysis of market data on family food purchase and consumption
  • analysis of BARB audience data
  • analysis of data from Nielsen Media Research on the advertising market
  • content analysis of food advertising on ITV1
  • bespoke qualitative and quantitative research commissioned by Ofcom to identify influences on children's food preferences, purchase behaviour and consumption and the role of TV advertising in this context.

These two studies were designed to explore the role of food promotion in general, and TV advertising in particular, on children's food preference, purchase behaviour and consumption, in order to provide input to the review of the provisions of the Advertising Standards Code. More specifically, these two newly commissioned qualitative and quantitative studies examine the impact of TV advertising, relative to other influences and other forms of promotion, on the consumption of HFSS (high in fat, salt and sugar) foods.

Full report

Childhood Obesity - Food Advertising in Context (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Children's food choices, parents' understanding and influence, and the role of food promotions

Appendix 1- A commentary on the research evidence regarding the effects of food promotion on children (PDF, 267.3 KB)
Department of Media and Communications London School of Economics and Political Science

Appendix 2 - Advertising foods to children: Understanding Promotion In The Context Of Children's Daily Lives (PDF, 525.5 KB)
Department of Media and Communications London School of Economics and Political Science

Appendix 3 - TV Viewing Data (PDF, 150.0 KB)

Appendix 4 - Nielsen Advertising Spend and Impact Data (PDF, 187.3 KB)

Appendix 5 -DGA Content Analysis (PDF, 100.1 KB)

Appendix 6 - TNS Family Food Panel definitions (PDF, 52.2 KB)