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Keywords:

  • food marketing;
  • food advertising;
  • child;
  • research priorities

Abstract

Objective: Research in the field of food marketing to children requires a better understanding of the research gaps in order to inform policy development. The purpose of this paper was to propose a framework for classifying food marketing research, using Australian research on food marketing to children to demonstrate how this framework can be used to determine knowledge gaps.

Approach: A literature review of research databases and ‘grey’ material was conducted to identify research from the previous 10 years. Studies were classified according to their research focus, and media type, as either: exposure, including content analyses; effects of exposure, including opinions, attitudes and actions resulting from food marketing exposure; regulations, including the type and level of regulation that applies to food marketing; or breaches of regulations, including instances where marketing regulations have been violated.

Conclusion: The majority of Australian research on food marketing to children has focused on television advertising and exposure research. Research has consistently shown that the content of food marketing directed at children is predominately for unhealthy foods. There is a lack of research on the effects of food marketing, which would be valuable to inform policy.

Implications: The development of a logical framework for food marketing research allows for the identification of research gaps and enables research priorities to be identified.