(AFP) – More than half of food advertisements seen by children and adolescents on television concern fatty, salty and sweet products, shows a study from Public Health France, which recommends further regulation of advertising for these products.
Ads for products with a Nutri-Score D and E, i.e. the lowest nutritional quality, represented in 2018 “53.3% of food ads seen by children, 52.5% of ads seen by adolescents, and 50 , 8% of advertisements seen by adults “, shows this study.
It also shows that half of the advertisements for these products are seen between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., a time when more than 20% of children and adolescents are in front of the television and when the advertising is not framed as is the case for programs specifically aimed at young people.
“These results are in favor of a restriction of food marketing for products of low nutritional quality, (…) at the hours when the greatest number of children and adolescents watch television,” said in a statement. public in France, recalling “the impact of marketing on children’s food preferences and consumption and thus on overweight and obesity.”
This supervision “seems just as necessary” on the internet, adds the public health agency.
Indeed, “the increase in the time spent on the Internet by children and adolescents augurs a much more massive exposure to advertisements” for fatty, salty and sweet products, without it being possible to date to measure it ” for lack of declared data on investments and targeting “.
In France, 17% of children aged 6 to 17 are overweight and, among them, 4% are obese, according to the Esteban study conducted in 2015.
The first studies carried out on the confinement linked to the Covid-19 epidemic also show that this period worsened the sedentary lifestyle of French children, with a strong increase in the time spent watching television, the internet and video games, a trend that could persist over time, worry the researchers.