Research Article
Volume 16 Issue 2 - 2021
Parents' Perceptions toward the Effect of Food Advertising Directed at their Children
Lubna Mahmood* and Nasih Othman
Department of Life Sciences, University of Roehampton, London, UK
*Corresponding Author: Lubna Mahmood, Department of Life Sciences, University of Roehampton, London, UK.
Received: January 09, 2021; Published: January 28, 2021




Abstract

Background: Advertising directed at children has received regular focus for many years as it is fraught with ethical concerns, while children are a vulnerable group that should be protected rather than being the object for companies’ marketing. Recent concerns about the increased rates of obesity among children worldwide have resulted in the resurgence of interest towards food advertising targeting children. Since parents play an important mediation role in controlling their children, thus, it is important to understand parents’ perceptions. The aims of this study were to examine the parents’ perceptions toward the effect of food advertising on children’s eating habits and childhood obesity. Moreover, to investigate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among parents and their children.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 332 parents of children aged between 4 and 14 years at shopping mall and public parks in the state of Qatar. A survey was carried out to measure parent’s perceptions toward the effect of food advertising directed at children. Anthropometric measurements were self-reported expect for parents’ weight which was obtained via an electronic scale. SPSS program version 21 was used for analysis and p-value ≤ 0.05 indicated statistical significance.

Results: The findings demonstrated that more than 50% of participated parents and their children were either overweight or obese. The majority of parents expressed negative perceptions of food advertising targeting children and preferred to better regulations of this area ranging from modification of adverting contents to its total prohibition (63%).

Conclusion: These findings confirm previous data indicating that exposure to food advertising can increase the desire to consumed advertised products. This research generally confirms the need for better legislative regulations of this issue and larger contribution of food products that have positive implications on children’s health in the future.

Keywords: Advertising; Parents; Children; Perceptions; Obesity; Eating; Habits; Attitude

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Citation: Mahmood L and Othman N. “Parents' Perceptions toward the Effect of Food Advertising Directed at their Children”. EC Nutrition 16.2 (2021): 04-17.

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