June 2014

Volume 31, Issue 2

The extent of food advertising to children on Greek television: focus on foods potentially detrimental to oral health

Authors: T. Gatou E. Mamai-Homata A. Polychronopoulou H. Koletsi-Kounari
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3241Gatou07


Objectives: To investigate the extent and nature of food advertising to children on Greek television, focusing on the adverts for foods with potential harmful effects on oral health, and to examine the persuasive marketing techniques used to promote food products. Methods: Advertisements broadcast on six TV-channels during children’s peak viewing times on two weekdays and two weekend days in the period May-June 2010 were recorded (166.7 hours). Each advertisement was coded according to: date, day, length, type of program in which the ad appeared, type of product advertised and promotional technique used. Food advertisements were subdivided according to their sugar and/or acid content as potentially harmful or non-harmful to teeth. Results: Food advertisements had an average frequency of 8.0 per hour during children’s peak viewing times with highest frequency (11.4 per hour) on weekends during child-focused programs. Of all advertisements, 1330 (26.7%) were for foods, and 595 (44.7%) of these deemed to be potentially harmful to teeth. The most commonly advertised food product during children’s programs was confectionery, 80 (27.7%). Of food advertisements, 199 (15.0%) used at least one of the promotional techniques likely to appeal to children. Advertisements for foods potentially harmful for teeth were more likely to be shown during child-focused programs (OR 2.92, 95%CI 2.04-4.16) and to promise a free gift with purchase (OR 35.43, 95%CI 10.83-115.88). Conclusion: Children in Greece are exposed to a large volume of advertisements for unhealthy foods and drinks, which intensively use persuasive techniques proved to affect children’s food preferences and consumption. Our study provides evidence that could support advocacy and interventions for the regulation of food advertising. Key words: food and beverages, advertisements, persuasive communication, children, oral health


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Delivering Better Oral Health 2014 – What’s new in the third edition? 66-67 Download
The extent of food advertising to children on Greek television: focus on foods potentially detrimental to oral health 68-74 Download
Parental views on delivering preventive advice to children referred for treatment of dental caries under general anaesthesia: A qualitative investigation 75-79 Download
Preventing caries in young children of immigrant Bangladeshi families in New York: Perspectives of mothers and paediatricians 80-84 Download
Predicting geographically distributed adult dental decay in the greater Auckland region of New Zealand 85-90 Download
Dentists’ perspectives on caries-related treatment decisions 91-98 Download
Determinants and trends in dental expenditures in the adult US population: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 1996-2006 99-104 Download
The caries experience of 5-year-old children in Scotland, Wales and England in 2011-2012: Reports of cross-sectional surveys using BASCD criteria 105-110 Download
What are the most accurate predictors of caries in children aged 5 years in the UK? 111-116 Download
Bruxism and health related quality of life in Southern Italy’s prison inmates 117-122 Download
Oral health inequalities in Italian schoolchildren a cross-sectional evaluation 123-128 Download


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