A Reflection on European Regulation of Television Advertising to Children

By del Valle, Almudena Gonzalez | Communication Research Trends, June 2013 | Go to article overview

A Reflection on European Regulation of Television Advertising to Children


del Valle, Almudena Gonzalez, Communication Research Trends


The ills and benefits of food advertising to children has emerged as one of the hot and upcoming topics in European media and social policy. Writing in this issue of Communication Research Trends, Schwartz, Kunkel, and DeLucia state that the link between the amount of time children spend watching television and the likelihood of their being overweight has been well established; they also note recent research that has shown that this may result from overall exposure to food marketing, rather than mere lack of physical activity, as they watch television instead of taking part in sports or outdoor activities. Since food marketing appears not only on television but also on other off- and online media, they suggest the need for policies to protect children from what seems to be a clear threat to their present and future health. The authors have looked into the U.S. case. I would argue that the need for child protection from food advertising is relevant in all European countries; here, too, child obesity has increased, as identified by the World Health organization (Livingstone, 2001). In this essay I will reflect on the main area--watching food advertising and food choice--from a regulatory point of view, and in particular, in the European Union (EU).

A. Childhood obesity and advertising concerns at the wider European region level

The World Health organization (WHO) recognizes obesity as a global health problem, from which European countries are not spared. To facilitate action across the WHO European Region, WHO/Europe organized the WHO European Ministerial Conference on Counteracting obesity in Istanbul, Turkey on 15-17 November 2006. At the conference, the delegates and Ministers adopted the European Charter on Counteracting obesity (WHO, 2006). Among other agreements, the charter recommended that policies to counteract obesity should also became part of the WHO European health policy for the next years-- Health 2020--currently being developed by WHO/Europe in collaboration with its 53 Member States (WHO, 2012). Their shared goals are to "significantly improve the health and well-being of populations, reduce health inequalities, strengthen public health, and ensure people-centered health systems that are universal, equitable, sustainable, and of high quality" (WHO, 2012, p. 1). The WHO set up an ongoing initiative for child obesity in the European region, the European Childhood obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) (WHO/Europe, 2005). The first data were collected in 2007 and the initiative includes routinely trend measuring in overweight and obesity in primary school children (6-9 years), in order to understand the progress of the epidemic in this population group and to permit inter-country comparisons within the European region. 2010 results indicate that 24% of 6-9 year olds are overweight or obese (based on the 2007 WHO growth reference for children and adolescents).

According to Livingstone (2001) obesity is now a major public health problem in Europe. Future research should aim to better understand the causes of the observed differences in the prevalence of obesity across Europe. At a population level this will mean focusing not just on the mechanisms of energy intake and physical activity but also on an evaluation of the environmental forces which, directly or indirectly, are conducive to high levels of overweight and obesity.

Schwartz, Kunkel, and DeLucia posit that the more pernicious effect of children's exposure to food marketing messages results from marketing's role in fueling the obesity epidemic. Advertising and the commercial world's interaction with children has long been a focus of attention from parents, regulators, and the industry, and it is emerging as a topic of research interest in academia. In Europe in particular, Young (2003) reviewed the literature on the role of advertising in children's food choice. He spotted nine main areas in the literature of both academic and public concern. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Reflection on European Regulation of Television Advertising to Children
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.