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Annual Conference 2019

March 28–31, 2019

Marriott City Center, Dallas, TX

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4.1c "It’s Time to Make a Change”: Content Analysis of Food and Beverage Advertisements on Nickelodeon

Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 8:30 AM–10:00 AM CDT
1-Normandy A

Despite the rising U.S child obesity rate, we still observe the prevalence of unhealthy food and beverage advertisements targeting children and adolescents. Previous studies consistently revealed that children are bombarded by a myriad of unhealthy food and beverages while they watch television. Specifically, Nickelodeon, as one of the top-rated children’s television channels, was under criticism for the vast number of advertisements promoting low nutrient foods on its shows. To update Nickelodeon’s food advertising exposure, we conducted a content analysis of 506 food and beverage advertisements aired on the Nickelodeon channel during two time periods. The study found that Nickelodeon did not show significant improvement in promoting healthier foods to child audiences or in limiting less healthy food advertising. Fast foods, soft drinks and confectionery brands dominantly appeared with promotional characters, emotional appeals, and taste claims. The results also showed evidence that health claims were used not only for healthy food (e.g., milk, seeds and nuts) but also for food products in the gray area (e.g., fruit juice, yogurt). Further discussions are needed regarding public policy and regulatory actions. 

First & Corresponding Author

Regina Ahn, University of Illinois
Authors in the order to be printed.

Regina Ahn, University of Illinois; Jie (Doreen) Shen,University of Illinois; Xuanjun Gong, University of Illinois; Chen Chen, University of Illinois; Weizi Liu, University of Illinois; Michelle Nelson, University of Illinois; Gail Ferguson, University of Illinois

Additional Authors

Jie(Doreen) Shen, University of Illinois
Xuanjun Gong, University of Illinois
Chen Chen, University of Illinois
Weizi Liu, University of Illinois
Michelle Nelson, University of Illinois
Gail Ferguson, University of Illinois