A Comparative Analysis of Television Food Advertisements and Current Dietary Recommendations

Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol; Grasso, Darlene
September 1999
American Journal of Health Studies;1999, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p169
Academic Journal
Abstract: This study examined the nutrition information embedded in television advertisements and their congruence with current dietary advice. Over 40% of the 467 advertisements analyzed contained nutrition information. A food guide pyramid, based on the frequency each food occurred in advertisements, is largely incongruent with current recommendations. Additionally, food advertisements (N=108) did not reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Foods advertised during prime-time television programming tend to be calorie-laden, fatty, salty, sweet, and low in fiber. An awareness of the nutrition information in advertisements can help health educators to better understand consumers' health decisions and the formidable challenge television presents to their work.


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