In a new brief on television advertising of food to children, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity documents trends in food-related TV advertising viewed by children and adolescents from 2002 to 2015, specifically focusing on changes in 2015 compared to 2014. The report also examines changes in categories of foods and beverages advertised since 2007, the year the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) food industry self-regulatory program was implemented. Food, beverage, and restaurant TV advertising to children decreased by 8%, and to adolescents by 14%, from 2014 to 2015. Adults also saw 7% fewer ads in 2015 versus 2014. Compared to 2007, children saw 3% fewer ads and adolescents saw an equal number of ads.
In recent years, multinational food and drink corporations and their marketing practices have been blamed for the global childhood obesity ‘crisis’. Unsurprisingly, these corporations have been quick to refute these claims and now position themselves as ‘part of the solution’ to childhood obesity. Corporations’ anxieties about being blamed for childhood obesity are fused with technologies of ‘healthy consumption’: the consumption of corporate products, corporate philanthropy, the corporate brand and corporate ‘education’.
Citation: Powell D. Governing the (un) healthy child-consumer in the age of the childhood obesity crisis. Sport, Education and Society. 2016; 4:1-4.
Food and beverage marketing has been associated with childhood obesity. In a descriptive study published in Pediatrics, the authors quantified the number and type of food or beverage brands promoted by music celebrities, assessed the nutritional quality of the products, and examined Teen Choice Award data to assess the celebrities’ popularity among adolescents.