Social media ads influence junk food intake of Australian teens
Most Australian high school students see food or drink advertising on social media at least weekly and those students are more likely to have a high intake of unhealthy food.
In this Cancer Council funded National Secondary Student Diet and Activity survey, students who reported seeing a food or drink advertisement on social media at least weekly – about a quarter of students – were even more likely to have a higher intake of unhealthy drinks. And the more often students – particularly boys – engaged with social media, the more likely they were to have a high intake of unhealthy food and drink. This study was conducted in 2018, surveying over 9,000 Australian adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.
The results show the influence of unhealthy food marketing on social media on adolescents and highlight the need for national regulation to protect Australian children under 18 years from unhealthy food marketing online; something recently announced in the UK.
Gascoyne C, et al. Food and drink marketing on social media and dietary intake in Australian adolescents: findings from a cross-sectional survey. Appetite. 2021.