October 2nd, 2012
UK: Regulation of junk food advertising has minimal impact
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that regulations introduced to reduce children’s exposure to junk food advertising have not had a significant impact.
Dr Emma Boyland, from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, compared food adverts broadcast on the 13 UK TV channels most popular with children in February 2008, with those from the same period in 2010. Results showed that, a year after regulations to limit the number of adverts for unhealthy food products were fully enforced, there had only been a slight reduction in the junk food advertising children were exposed to.
Slight drop—The research found that the proportion of advertising for food products did drop slightly over the two year period (from 13% to 11.7%) but the reduction was in advertising for both healthy and unhealthy foods. Therefore, the study found that TV food advertising in the UK is still dominated by promotions for unhealthy products and healthier options are rarely seen.