Socio-economic and gender differences in nutritional content of foods advertised in popular uk weekly magazines.
Sommaire de l'article
BACKGROUND: Advertising in magazines contributes to nutritional knowledge and social norms and may play a role in food choice and adiposity. In contrast to food advertising on television, that in magazines has received little research attention. We describe the type and nutritional content of foods advertised in popular UK weekly magazines and explore variations in these according to the socio-economic and gender profile of readers. METHOD: Four consecutive issues of 30 popular UK weekly magazines were obtained. Food advertisements were categorized into one of eight food groups. Manufacturer’s data on the nutritional content of advertised foods was used to determine the nutritional content of advertised foods. Socio-economic and gender profile of magazines was determined from national readership statistics. RESULTS: Four hundred forty three advertisements for food products were identified. The most common categories of foods advertised were meals, combination foods, soups and sauces (26%) and foods containing fat/sugar (23%). Advertised foods had a lower percentage of energy from carbohydrate (43%), lower fibre density (2 g/MJ), but higher percentage of energy from sugars (24%) and higher sodium density (0.5 g/MJ) than a diet recommended to avoid diet-related disease. There were variations in the type of foods advertised according to the socio-economic profile of readers and in the nutritional content of advertised foods according to the socio-economic and gender profile of readers. CONCLUSIONS: Food advertising reflects, and may reinforce, socio-economic and gender variations in food choice and adiposity. Producers of more healthy food may need help from policy makers and health promoters to effectively market their products.