Objectives: The aim of this content analysis study is to characterize the TV advertisements aired to an at-risk child population along the Texas-Mexico border.
Methods: We characterized the early Saturday morning TV advertisements aired by three broadcast network categories (U.S. English language, U.S. Spanish language, and Mexican Spanish language) in Spring 2010. The number, type (food related vs. non-food related), target audience, and persuasion tactics used were recorded. Advertised foods, based on nutrition content, were categorized as meeting or not meeting current dietary guidelines.
Results: Most commercials were non-food related (82.7%, 397 of 480). The majority of the prepared foods (e.g., cereals, snacks, and drinks) advertised did not meet the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Additionally, nutrition content information was not available for many of the foods advertised on the Mexican Spanish language broadcast network category.
Conclusions: For U.S. children at risk for obesity along the Texas-Mexico border exposure to TV food advertisements may result in the continuation of sedentary behavior as well as an increased consumption of foods of poor nutritional quality. An international regulatory effort to monitor and enforce the reduction of child-oriented food advertising is needed.
Editors' Note: This article was submitted in response to the first issue of the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Latino Children.
Key Take Away Points
- Exposure to TV food advertisements for U.S. children at risk for obesity along the Texas-Mexico border may result in an increased consumption of foods of poor nutritional quality.
- An international regulatory effort to monitor and enforce the reduction of child-oriented food advertising is needed.
Cristina S. Barroso, DrPH, is Assistant Professor of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus.
Dianeth Rodriguez, BA is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Brownsville and a Minority Biomedical Research Support, Research Initiative for Scientific Enchancement Program Scholar.
Perla L. Camacho, BA is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Brownsville and a Minority Biomedical Research Support, Research Initiative for Scientific Enchancement Program Scholar
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by funding from grants from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH NCMHD P20 MD000170-06) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH 5 R25 GM065925-07). The NIH had no role in the design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or writing.
The authors gratefully acknowledge and express their gratitude to Dr. Deanna M. Hoelscher, Director of Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus, for her constructive review of the manuscript. The authors also thank Nancy Gonzalez and Alda Rivas of the University of Texas at Brownsville for their assistance with data collection for this content analysis project. The authors are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable critique of the manuscript.
Barroso, Cristina S.; Rodriguez, Dianeth; and Camacho, Perla L.
"Saturday Morning Television Advertisements Aired on English and Spanish Language Networks along the Texas-Mexico Border,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk:
2, Article 17.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol2/iss2/17