Reading the mind of children in response to food advertising: A cross-sectional study of Malaysian schoolchildren's attitudes towards food and beverages advertising on television

See Hoe Ng, Bridget Kelly, Chee Hee Se, Sharmela Sahathevan, Karuthan Chinna, Mohd Noor Ismail, Tilakavati Karupaiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Television food advertising (TVFA) is the most dominant medium in the obesogenic environment promoting unhealthy food choices in children. Methods: This cross-sectional study investigated children's attitudes towards TVFA by examining four well-cited induction factors namely advertisement recognition, favourite advertisement, purchase request, and product preference. Malaysian urban schoolchildren (7 to 12 years) of equal ethnic distribution were voluntarily recruited (n∈=∈402). Questionnaire administration was facilitated using a food album of 24 advertised food products. Results: Majority of children were older (66.2 %), girls (56.7 %) with one-third either overweight or obese. TV viewing time for weekend was greater than weekdays (4.77∈±∈2.60 vs 2.35∈±∈1.40 h/day) and Malay children spent more time watching TV compared to Chinese (p∈∈favourite advertisement and product preference∈>∈purchase request, and significantly greater (p∈final adj: 1.06; 95 % CI: 1.04 to 1.08), 'purchase request' (IRRfinal adj: 1.06; 95 % CI: 1.04 to 1.08) and 'product preference' (IRRfinal adj: 1.04; 95 % CI: 1.02 to 1.07) still were significantly associated with TV viewing time. For every additional hour of TV viewing, the incidence rates increased significantly by 1.04 to 1.06 for 'favourite advertisement', 'purchase request' and 'product preference' related to non-core foods amongst Malay and Indian children. However, Chinese children only demonstrated a significant association between TV viewing time and 'favourite advertisement' (IRRadj: 1.06; 95 % CI: 1.01 to 1.10). Conclusion: This study highlights TVFA as a powerful medium predisposing the mind of children to non-core foods through appealing TV commercials, promoting purchase request and generating unhealthy food preferences in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1047
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015

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Food and Beverages
Television
Reading
Cross-Sectional Studies
Food
Food Preferences
Incidence

Keywords

  • Advertisement recognition
  • Appealing food advertisement
  • Favourite advertisement
  • Obesogenic environment
  • Product preference
  • Purchase request
  • Television food advertising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Reading the mind of children in response to food advertising : A cross-sectional study of Malaysian schoolchildren's attitudes towards food and beverages advertising on television. / Ng, See Hoe; Kelly, Bridget; Se, Chee Hee; Sahathevan, Sharmela; Chinna, Karuthan; Ismail, Mohd Noor; Karupaiah, Tilakavati.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1047, 12.10.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Television food advertising (TVFA) is the most dominant medium in the obesogenic environment promoting unhealthy food choices in children. Methods: This cross-sectional study investigated children's attitudes towards TVFA by examining four well-cited induction factors namely advertisement recognition, favourite advertisement, purchase request, and product preference. Malaysian urban schoolchildren (7 to 12 years) of equal ethnic distribution were voluntarily recruited (n∈=∈402). Questionnaire administration was facilitated using a food album of 24 advertised food products. Results: Majority of children were older (66.2 {\%}), girls (56.7 {\%}) with one-third either overweight or obese. TV viewing time for weekend was greater than weekdays (4.77∈±∈2.60 vs 2.35∈±∈1.40 h/day) and Malay children spent more time watching TV compared to Chinese (p∈∈favourite advertisement and product preference∈>∈purchase request, and significantly greater (p∈final adj: 1.06; 95 {\%} CI: 1.04 to 1.08), 'purchase request' (IRRfinal adj: 1.06; 95 {\%} CI: 1.04 to 1.08) and 'product preference' (IRRfinal adj: 1.04; 95 {\%} CI: 1.02 to 1.07) still were significantly associated with TV viewing time. For every additional hour of TV viewing, the incidence rates increased significantly by 1.04 to 1.06 for 'favourite advertisement', 'purchase request' and 'product preference' related to non-core foods amongst Malay and Indian children. However, Chinese children only demonstrated a significant association between TV viewing time and 'favourite advertisement' (IRRadj: 1.06; 95 {\%} CI: 1.01 to 1.10). Conclusion: This study highlights TVFA as a powerful medium predisposing the mind of children to non-core foods through appealing TV commercials, promoting purchase request and generating unhealthy food preferences in early childhood.",
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