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Attention to food health warnings in children's advertising: a French perspective

Abstract : ObjectivesThe objective of this study was to evaluate how much attention children pay to health warnings displayed on TV and print advertisements promoting drinks with added sugar, salt, or artificial sweeteners, and processed food products.Study designThe research was conducted in France among 50 children, using an eye-tracking system to record participants’ eye movements on TV and print advertisements.MethodsTo reproduce the natural exposure conditions to TV commercials, the children were asked to watch a 12-min extract of an animated comedy film with two commercial breaks sandwiched between the extract. For the print ads, all the children were exposed to eight ads. The use of an eye-tracking system gave an objective measurement of the attention paid to the food health warnings.ResultsThe results show that children exposed to these food product advertisements pay little or no attention to the warnings. Only 18% of the children made more than one eye fixation on the central message of the health warnings (the part displaying the health recommendation) for TV commercials, and almost no attention was given to warnings displayed on the print ads.ConclusionsThis study shows that the French authorities should take stronger and more decisive measures to help children adopt healthy behavior because the current health warnings appear insufficient to inform children.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 25, 2021 - 1:17:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 6:28:31 AM

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Sophie Lacoste-Badie, M. Minvielle, O. Droulers. Attention to food health warnings in children's advertising: a French perspective. Public Health, WB Saunders, 2019, 173, pp.69-74. ⟨10.1016/j.puhe.2019.05.012⟩. ⟨halshs-02301956⟩

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