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The impact of junk food marketing regulations on food sales: an ecological study
- Kovic, Y., Noel, J. K., Ungemack, J. A., Burleson, J. A.
- Obesity reviews 2018 v.19 no.6 pp. 761-769
- food marketing, marketing policy, nutrition, sales, United States
- OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of junk food broadcast marketing policies on nationwide junk food sales and identify policy characteristics effective in reducing sales. METHODS: Country policy data (n = 79) were categorized in a thorough literature review and analysed using a repeated measures design against data on food sales per capita. Study conducted in United States, 2017. RESULTS: Countries with junk food broadcast marketing policies saw a decrease in junk food sales per capita after implementation, while those without said policies saw an increase (p = 0.013). Countries with statutory policies saw a decrease in sales per capita, while those with only self‐regulation saw an increase (p = 0.004). Audience restrictions (p = 0.024) and standardized nutrition criteria (p = 0.008) were policy characteristics significantly associated with a decrease in sales per capita. CONCLUSIONS: Utilizing a novel approach to evaluate junk food broadcast marketing policies, the study demonstrated that countries with statutory policies saw a significant decrease in junk food sales per capita not seen in countries with no or only self‐regulatory policies. To effectively reduce exposure to child‐targeted junk food marketing, governments should establish strong, comprehensive statutory regulations. Additionally, countries that implement junk food marketing policies can use food sales data to track policy effectiveness.