Television Food Advertising to Children in Argentina
Childhood obesity rates in South America are steadily increasing. The causes of childhood obesity are complex, but there is evidence that advertisements are a contributing factor, with television advertising the most widely used form of food marketing to children. In Argentina, the rate of childhood obesity in children younger than 5 years old was 7.3% in 2010 - the highest in the region. While children's exposure to television advertising of food has been analyzed in several other countries, in Argentina, there is currently no local evidence to support decision-makers in the promoting a public policy to regulate it. This research project will first analyze the current regulatory framework around television food advertising in Argentina, determining the amount and characteristics of food advertising to children, and the nutritional content and quality of the foods advertised. It will also look at the impact across different socio-economic levels of this kind of advertising on parents' behaviours, beliefs, and food purchasing decisions. Ultimately, the project aims to set the agenda for a policy dialogue about the relationship between exposure to television advertising and childhood obesity among Argentinean children, and promote the changes required to reduce their exposure to unhealthy food advertising.