Publication Details

Amini, M., Omidvar, N., Yeatman, H., Shariat-Jafari, S., Eslami-Amirabadi, M. & Zahedirad, M. (2014). Content analysis of food advertising in Iranian children's television programs. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5 (10), 1337-1342.


Background: Advertisements can influence children's health related behaviors. Television advertisements are the main avenues directing commercials at children in Iran. This study aimed to explore the content of food advertisement during children's television programs in 2007-8 and to compare it with those reported in 2000. Methods: All advertisements broadcasted before, during, and after children's programs aired on two major Iran national television networks were videotaped for a period of 4 weeks during 2007- 8. For each advertisement, type of product(s) and mode of presentation (s) were coded. Results: A total of 229 television advertisements were broadcasted. Food commercials were the most frequent group (31%) across the two channels. Among the food products advertised, calorie dense foods, including chocolate, soft drinks, extruded cereals, ice cream, cookies and candies were the most frequent. The appeal mainly used in television food advertisements was "stimulation of hunger/thirst" (38.5%). The advertisements were mostly presented as animations (54%) and the messages used were mainly directed to good taste. Conclusion: Although the total number of food advertisements during children's television programs has decreased but the consumption of high fat, high sugar, low nutrient dense foods continues to be promoted. Policies to address the issue should be scrutinized.