The effectiveness of self-regulation in limiting the advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages on children’s preferred websites in Canada.
Sommaire de l'article
To assess the effectiveness of the self-regulatory Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI) in limiting advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages on children's preferred websites in Canada. Design/Setting/Subjects Syndicated Internet advertising exposure data were used to identify the ten most popular websites for children (aged 2-11 years) and determine the frequency of food/beverage banner and pop-up ads on these websites from June 2015 to May 2016. Nutrition information for advertised products was collected and their nutrient content per 100 g was calculated. Nutritional quality of all food/beverage ads was assessed using the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and UK Nutrient Profile Models (NPM). Nutritional quality of CAI and non-CAI company ads was compared using χ 2 analyses and independent t tests.
About 54 million food/beverage ads were viewed on children's preferred websites from June 2015 to May 2016. Most (93·4 %) product ads were categorized as excessive in fat, Na or free sugars as per the PAHO NPM and 73·8 % were deemed less healthy according to the UK NPM. CAI-company ads were 2·2 times more likely (OR; 99 % CI) to be excessive in at least one nutrient (2·2; 2·1, 2·2, P<0·001) and 2·5 times more likely to be deemed less healthy (2·5; 2·5, 2·5, P<0·001) than non-CAI ads. On average, CAI-company product ads also contained (mean difference; 99 % CI) more energy (141; 141·1, 141·4 kcal, P<0·001, r=0·55), sugar (18·2; 18·2, 18·2 g, P<0·001, r=0·68) and Na (70·0; 69·7, 70·0 mg, P<0·001, r=0·23) per 100 g serving than non-CAI ads.
The CAI is not limiting unhealthy food and beverage advertising on children's preferred websites in Canada. Mandatory regulations are needed.