Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fast Food Ads

The messages for food ads on TV encourage us to think that what's good or nice to eat is "good for us". In fact, television food ads during kid’s viewing times promote foods high in fat, sugar or salt that are really no good for anyone. The largest categories of foods advertised tend to be chocolate and confectionary, fast food restaurants and sweetened breakfast cereals.

What are the issues?

  • A large number of Australian children eat non-nutritious food such as hamburgers, pizza, confectionary and soft drinks, which are promoted during children’s viewing time, instead of eating healthy food.
  • Food or drink products are often advertised by having the characters in the film, video or TV programme consume the products, or placed somewhere conspicuous on the set.

Did you know?

  • Adverts during children’s programmes can occur at the rate of 30 per hour.
  • Australia has the highest number of television food adverts in the world.
  • Food ads, as a percentage of total ads on television, range from 25%-48%, and average 34%.
  • Food companies spend millions of dollars each year on advertising.

Tips

  • Play "spot the gimmicks" in advertisements on TV: don’t believe all the claims made in advertisements.
  • Celebrities who advertise products on the TV get paid a lot of money to do so. It doesn’t necessarily mean they actually like or use the product themselves.

Links

pbskids - Don't buy it!