Publication Details

Kelly, B., Hebden, L., King, L., Xiao, Y., Yu, Y., He, G., Li, L., Zeng, L., Hadi, H., Karupaiah, T., Hoe, N., Noor, M., Yoon, J. & Kim, H. (2016). Children's exposure to food advertising on free-to-air television: an Asia-Pacific perspective. Health Promotion International, 31 (1), 144-152.


There is an established link between food promotions and children's food purchase and consumption. Children in developing countries may be more vulnerable to food promotions given the relative novelty of advertising in these markets. This study aimed to determine the scope of television food advertising to children across the Asia-Pacific to inform policies to restrict this marketing. Six sites were sampled, including from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea. At each site, 192 h of television were recorded (4 days, 16 h/day, three channels) from May to October 2012. Advertised foods were categorized as core/healthy, non-core/unhealthy or miscellaneous, and by product type. Twenty-seven percent of advertisements were for food/beverages, and the most frequently advertised product was sugar-sweetened drinks. Rates of non-core food advertising were highest during viewing times most popular with children, when between 3 (South Korea) and 15 (Indonesia) non-core food advertisements were broadcast each hour. Children in the Asia-Pacific are exposed to high volumes of unhealthy food/beverage television advertising. Different policy arrangements for food advertising are likely to contribute to regional variations in advertising patterns. Cities with the lowest advertising rates can be identified as exemplars of good policy practice.



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