Healthy and unhealthy food in television advertising for adults and children.

Francesca Romana Puggelli, Mauro Maria Bertolotti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


Health is increasingly intended not only as the prevention and cure of illness, but also as physical and psychological well-being. This trend can be found in advertising, too, where such broader concept of health is used to influence consumers’ attitudes and behaviors towards products. Our research focuses on children as a target of food and beverages advertising. In the last decade, several important changes in consumers’ lifestyles occurred in Europe, leading to a new “food culture” among families. Television advertising targeted to children played a relevant role in this context. In fact, watching television is a sedentary activity (opposed to physical exercise), which is also associated with frequent consumption of snacks, fast food or pre-cooked meals. On top of this, advertisement of such food is frequently broadcast during tv programs, further exposing viewers to it. The aim of our research is to investigate how healthy and unhealthy foods (e.g., those of little nutritional value, but high fat and sugar content) are represented in televised advertising, analyzing the differences in persuasive strategies used to promote them. We analyzed 62 food product ads broadcast on the main Italian television networks. The main characteristics of each ad were coded and analyzed, including target, representation of food consumption, number and gender of the main characters, visual and sound effects (i.e. music jungles etc.) and references to nutritional properties. Results showed that healthy foods are marketed almost exclusively to adults, using adult-oriented advertising techniques, whereas unhealthy food advertising tends to target children and adolescents more than adults.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteChild and teen consumption 2012. Proceedings.
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
EventoChild and Teen Consumption 2012 - Milano
Durata: 12 dic 201214 feb 2013


ConvegnoChild and Teen Consumption 2012


  • advertising
  • children
  • food


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