Australian children's views about food advertising on television
Spurrier, Nicola Jane
Udell, Tuesday Melissa
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This study explored children's views about food advertising on television in the light of recent public interest in childhood obesity and obesogenic environments. Thirty-seven children, aged between 8 and 11 years, discussed their perceptions of food advertising in focus groups. The children engaged as consumers of advertising, noticing technical aspects, and expressing their likes and dislikes of particular techniques. While they understood the persuasive intent of advertising, they nevertheless desired products and made purchase requests. They particularly desired energy-dense nutrient-poor foods. The children demonstrated sophisticated levels of advertising literacy through their articulation of problems such as deception, impacts on children's health and wellbeing, and family conflict. They revealed themselves as sentient beings, with the capacity to react, respond and reflect on their experience of advertising. This study makes a contribution to research on consumer socialisation by introducing the perspective of Australian children. As stakeholders in the childhood obesity problem, the views of children should also be of interest to health policymakers.