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ERIC Number: EJ939497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1499-4046
A Menagerie of Promotional Characters: Promoting Food to Children through Food Packaging
Hebden, Lana; King, Lesley; Kelly, Bridget; Chapman, Kathy; Innes-Hughes, Christine
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, v43 n5 p349-355 Sep-Oct 2011
Objective: To determine the extent to which (1) promotional characters are used on food packaging for healthful and less-healthful food and (2) different companies use this persuasive marketing strategy. Design: Cross-sectional supermarket audit of all food and beverages featuring promotional characters on the packaging. Setting: Three Australian supermarket chains. Variables Measured: Frequency of observed products, package size, nutritional composition. Analysis: Frequencies and bivariate analyses was conducted. Nutritional composition (healthful vs less healthful) was analyzed by character type and company type, that is, whether the company was signed to the Australian Food and Grocery Council "Responsible Marketing to Children Initiative" (RMCI) signatory. Results: Products featuring promotional characters on packaging (n = 352) were predominantly less-healthful food and beverages (76%). Nutritional composition varied significantly by character type, with 69% of products with sportspersons, celebrities, or movie tie-ins being healthful, compared with 48% of licensed and 21% of company-owned characters. Only 13 of the 75 companies using characters on packaging were RMCI signatory. Conclusions and Implications: Promotional characters are largely used on food packaging to promote less-healthful food to children. Most of these characters are company-owned characters that are not subject to any form of regulation in Australia. Further efforts to limit this form of marketing to children are required. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia