Newberry Le Vay J, Critchlow N & Vohra J (2019) "It's got adverts… Always, always there": Change over time in the impact of junk food marketing on children and young people's dietary behaviours [YOPS Poster]. UK Congress on Obesity, Leeds, 11.09.2019-13.09.2019. http://www.obesity-abstracts.org/ob/0001/ob0001p50.htm; https://doi.org/10.1530/obabs.01.P50
Background: Marketing for food and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) are known to negatively influence dietary-related knowledge, attitudes and health outcomes such as overweight and obesity. It is crucial to address the alarming UK childhood obesity rates; a child with obesity is five times more likely to become an adult with obesity, and overweight and obesity causes 13 types of cancer. Digital marketing is now as, or more, prevalent in young people’s lives than TV advertising. More evidence is needed to understand the mechanisms by which the influence of HFSS marketing occurs, and to underpin policy action to ensure marketing regulation is fit for purpose in the current marketing landscape.
Aims: To explore trends over time in children and young people’s dietary perceptions and attitudes and behaviours across all forms of HFSS marketing, particularly digital.
Methods: A nationally representative online cross-sectional UK survey of 11–19 year olds (n=3286), is being performed. This survey builds on the first wave of the YOPS (conducted in 2017), updated to reflect the 2019 policy context and to focus specifically on digital HFSS marketing. A qualitative scoping study of focus groups with 11–19 year olds was conducted by ScotCen to inform survey design for the digital HFSS marketing component. Survey recruitment is being conducted by YouGov through their online panel. Linear regression will be performed, controlling for demographic factors, to test for associations between different forms of HFSS marketing exposure and HFSS consumption. Data collection will be complete by August 2019.
Results: Data will give self-reported consumption of HFSS products, HFSS marketing exposure across platforms, and digital media use and engagement. Results will provide insight into whether the impact of HFSS marketing has changed over the past two years, and build the evidence on the impact of digital HFSS marketing.
Discussion: This study builds a picture of how the impact that HFSS marketing has on children and young people’s dietary-related behaviours and health outcomes may have changed over time. It will explore the link between digital marketing and young people’s dietary behaviours, and support policy-making around HFSS marketing regulation.