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To evaluate the nutritional quality of products advertised on television (TV) during children's viewing time in Spain, applying the UK nutrient profile model (UKNPM).
We recorded 80 h of four general TV station broadcasts during children's viewing time in May and June 2008, and identified all advertisements for foods and beverages. Nutritional information was obtained from the product labels or websites and from food composition tables. Each product was classified as healthy (e.g. gazpacho, a vegetable juice) or less healthy (e.g. potato crisp snacks) according to the UKNPM criteria.
Four free-of-charge TV channels in Spain: two national channels and two regional ones.
TV commercials of food and beverages.
A total of 486 commercials were broadcast for ninety-six different products, with a mean frequency of 5·1 advertisements per product. Some 61·5 % of the ninety-six products were less healthy, and the percentage was higher for foods (74·1 %). All (100 %) of the breakfast cereals and 80 % of the non-alcoholic drinks and soft drinks were less healthy. Of the total sample of commercials, 59·7 % were for less healthy products, a percentage that rose to 71·2 % during children's reinforced protection viewing time.
Over half the commercials were for less healthy products, a proportion that rose to over two-thirds during the hours of special protection for children. This suggests that applying the UKNPM to regulate food advertising during this slot would entail the withdrawal of most food commercials in Spain. TV advertising of products with low nutritional quality should be restricted.
To compare the anthropometric, alimentary, nutritional and lipid profiles and global diet quality of Spanish children according to saturated fat intake.
This was a cross-sectional study. Food data were collected using a food-frequency questionnaire.
Subjects and methods
The sample included 1112 children of both sexes, aged between 6 and 7 years, selected by means of random cluster sampling in schools. The plasma lipid profile included measurements of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1) and apolipoprotein B (apoB). Global diet quality was evaluated by the Dietary Variety Index (DVI) and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI).
Energy intake, DVI and HEI of children from the lower quartile of saturated fat intake (LL) were higher (P < 001) than in the remaining children (UL). However, there were no significant differences in average height or weight between groups. The UL children had lower intakes of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and olive oil and a higher intake of dairy products (P < 0.001). The intakes of fibre, vitamins C, D, B6, E and folic acid were higher in the LL children, who had lower intakes of vitamin A and calcium. The ratios LDL-C/HDL-C and apoB/apoA1 were lower (P = 0.04) in the LL children (1.87 and 0.52, respectively) than in the UL children (2.02 and 0.54, respectively).
The growth rate of children does not seem to be affected by the level of saturated fat intake. Furthermore, at the levels of intake observed in this study, diets with less saturated fat are associated with better alimentary, nutritional and plasma lipid profiles.
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