The marketing of sugary food products to children on television, in South Africa

Mushamiri, Patience
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Consumption of unhealthy diets by children has contributed to the high prevalence of childhood obesity in South Africa. Exposure to advertising that promotes consumption of sugary food products on TV plays a role in children’s dietary choices. Following industry pledges made relating to the reduction of advertising of unhealthy foods directed at children, this study aimed to describe the frequency of advertisements for sugary food products and the advertising techniques being used to appeal to children on South African TV channels, during children’s and family viewing times, over a two-week period. Results from the study revealed that 13% of all advertisements aired were for food products, with various techniques being used to appeal to children. As industry self-regulation continues to be ineffective it is important that government legislates to stop children’s exposure to sugary food products with additional specific limitations on the use of persuasive techniques when advertising to children
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health, 2021