Background: Children today live in an obesogenic environment. According to existing literature, television food advertising has long been recognized as a great impact on children’s eating behavior and weight status. Television food advertising has attracted criticism for its potential role and impact on children’s food preferences, purchasing requests, food knowledge and weight status as well. There hasn’t been any work done directed towards this field in Cyprus.
Aim: An understanding of the current situation of television food advertising in Cyprus’ television channels, perceptions, eating habits, television habits, food knowledge on children of age 6-12 will be helpful to acknowledge and identify any relations associated to existing literature.
Methods: This thesis presents findings from a quantitative research study. The data were collected in three phases, firstly with the help of parents/guardians (questionnaire) (N=1088) of age 6-12 in Cyprus, secondly with records of Cyprus Radio-Television Authority (365 days data) and thirdly with the use of focus group (knowledge tests) (N=71).
Findings: It is evident from the study findings that television food advertising scenery in Cyprus is dominated by unhealthy food product choices that form a distorted food pyramid. These data along with the responses of parents underline the relationship and responses of children and parents towards several aspects that television food advertising has a detrimental impact on their children’s eating habits, television habits, purchase requests, food knowledge, food preference, brand preferences. Furthermore, lack of applied policies and legislation on Cyprus television advertising has been identified.
Conclusion: Combining these findings, relations between television food advertising and children’s eating behavior (food knowledge, purchase requests, food preferences, brand preferences, eating habits) have been identified. Furthermore, suggestions have been proposed to stakeholders.
Associations between Cypriot children's television food advertising exposure and their eating behaviour: An observational and diagnostic survey with the use of questionnaires and eating behaviour tests in 1088 Cypriot Children.
- PhD thesis