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To determine the frequency and content of food-related television (TV) advertisements shown on South African TV.
Four national TV channels were recorded between 15.00 and 21.00 hours (6 h each day, for seven consecutive days, over a 4-week period) to: (i) determine the number of food-related TV advertisements; and (ii) evaluate the content and approach used by advertisers to market their products. The data were viewed by two of the researchers and coded according to time slots, food categories, food products, health claims and presentation.
Of the 1512 recorded TV advertisements, 665 (44 %) were related to food. Of these, 63 % were for food products, 21 % for alcohol, 2 % for multivitamins, 1 % for slimming products and 13 % for supermarket and pharmacy promotions. Nearly 50 % of food advertisements appeared during family viewing time. During this time the most frequent advertisements were for desserts and sweets, fast foods, hot beverages, starchy foods and sweetened drinks. The majority of the alcohol advertisements (ninety-three advertisements, 67 %) fell within the children and family viewing periods and were endorsed by celebrities. Health claims were made in 11 % of the advertisements. The most frequently used benefits claimed were ‘enhances well-being’, ‘improves performance’, ‘boosts energy’, ‘strengthens the immune system’ and ‘is nutritionally balanced’.
The majority of food advertisements shown to both children and adults do not foster good health despite the health claims made. The fact that alcohol advertisements are shown during times when children watch TV needs to be addressed.
To identify and describe factors associated with food shop (known as tuck shop in South Africa) and lunchbox behaviours of primary-school learners in South Africa.
Analysis of data collected in 2008 from a cross-sectional survey.
Sixteen primary schools in the Western Cape, South Africa.
A total of 717 grade 4 learners aged 10–12 years.
A 24 h recall established that 69 % of learners carried a lunchbox to school and 49 % had consumed at least one item purchased from the school food shop/vendor. Most lunchboxes contained white bread with processed meat, whereas the most frequent food shop/vendor purchase comprised chips/crisps. Learners who carried a lunchbox to school had significantly lower BMI percentiles (P = 0·002) and BMI-for-age (P = 0·034), compared with their counterparts. Moreover, they were younger, had higher standard-of-living and dietary diversity scores, consumed more meals per day, had greater self-efficacy and came from predominantly urban schools, compared with those who did not carry a lunchbox to school. Learners who ate food shop/vendor purchases had a lower standard-of-living score and higher dietary diversity and meal scores. Only 2 % of learners were underweight, whereas 19 % were stunted and 21 % were overweight/obese (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2).
Children who carried a lunchbox to school appeared to have greater dietary diversity, consumed more regular meals, had a higher standard of living and greater nutritional self-efficacy compared with those who did not carry a lunchbox to school.
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