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Extent and Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages to Which Children are Exposed in Colombian TV Food Advertising


Velasquez, Alcides; Mora-Plazas, Mercedes; Gómez, Luis F.; Taillie, Lindsey Smith; & Carpentier, Francesca R. Dillman (2021). Extent and Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages to Which Children are Exposed in Colombian TV Food Advertising. Public Health Nutrition, 24(4), 706-716.


OBJECTIVE: To examine children's exposure to food and beverage advertising across a year of Colombian television based on whether products exceed Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)-defined nutrient thresholds.
DESIGN: Nutritional information was obtained for all foods and beverages advertised and used to categorise each product according to the product category (e.g. beverage, snack food) and nutritional quality based on the PAHO model for identifying products in excess of free sugars, Na or saturated fat or containing non-caloric sweeteners or trans-fat. Television audience ratings data were used to derive the average child audience (unique child viewers) per ad and the number of times ads were seen by children in a single week (weekly impressions) based on product category and nutritional quality.
SETTING: All food and beverage ads on cable and over-the-air TV in Colombia in 2017.
RESULTS: Of all instances of TV ads, 89·3 % were of unhealthy products. A larger proportion of male and female children, as well as children from low (88·01 %), mid (89·10 %) and high (89·10 %) socio-economic status, are exposed to advertising of unhealthy products, but no significant difference was found between these proportions.
CONCLUSION: The majority of foods and beverages advertised to Colombian children are unhealthy. These findings highlight a need to implement statutory measures to reduce children's exposure to unhealthy food advertising in Colombia, as obesity and overweight have been increasing among school-age children in Colombia, and exposure to television advertising of unhealthy foods is a known contributor to children's food intake and obesity.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Public Health Nutrition


Velasquez, Alcides
Mora-Plazas, Mercedes
Gómez, Luis F.
Taillie, Lindsey Smith
Carpentier, Francesca R. Dillman