How junk food adverts are designed to appeal to families

The Obesity Health Alliance’s 2017 ‘Watershed Moment’ report showed that 59% of advertising run during early evening family shows were for high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products which would not be allowed to run during children’s TV shows [i]. If you bear in mind that less than 10% of all TV advertising is for HFSS products its clear they gravitate to early evening family shows exposing our children to an intense diet of unhealthy and unsuitable advertising.

OHA Infographic

​We’ve worked with OHA to produce a new infographic explaining the tricks and techniques used by junk food advertisers to appeal to families.

See how many of these you can spot during the breaks this Saturday:

1. Adverts use fun and colourful scenes to grab kids' attention.

2. Spot the random wholesome images such a fresh fruit and veg casually placed in the adverts for junk food to reassure concerned parents.

3. Note the offers of extra items or larger sizes designed to normalise greater portion sizes.

4. Look out for those scenes promising that perfect family moment sharing a large spread of unhealthy food.

The 2007 ban on the advertising of HFSS products on children’s TV was designed to protect our children from the influence of junk food advertising. It only covers 27% of the TV watched by kids[ii]. It’s time to close that loophole with a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on live TV and on-demand.

[i] A Watershed Moment Obesity Health Alliance 2017


Recent Posts