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Keywords:

  • Child;
  • obesity;
  • public policy;
  • television;
  • prevention;
  • marketing;
  • food

Abstract

Objective. To examine the differences in exposure to food marketing on television between English children in Ontario, and French and English children in Quebec as each group is influenced by different advertising policies. Methods. In total, 428 children aged 10–12 completed television viewing diaries for 7 days. During the same week, 32 television stations were recorded between 6 am and 12 am. A content analysis of advertisements, contests and sponsorship announcements that aired during children's 90 hours of preferred programming was then undertaken. Results. Twenty-six percent of advertisements, 18% of contests and 22% of sponsorships were food/beverage related. Similar rates of food marketing were seen across all three population groups. French Quebec subjects were exposed to significantly more beverage promotions and fewer grain products, candy and snack food promotions. French Quebec children were targeted less frequently, and media characters/celebrities were used less often than in the English groups. Conclusion. The Quebec advertising ban does not appear to be limiting the amount of food/beverage advertising seen by children aged 10–12. However, food categories and marketing techniques used differ in the preferred viewing of French Quebec children.