Food content in children’s animated programmes: A review
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Laboratory of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Corresponding author
Milia Tzoutzou   

Laboratory of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University of Athens, Leof. El. Venizelou 70, GR-17676, Kallithea Athens, Greece
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A114
The research has shown that messages conveyed to children via food advertisements influence their perception of food; however, the food content of comic series addressed to children is poorly explored. We conducted a review so as to examine which particular foods are present in films and series addressed to children. Five electronic databases (Emerald, Elsevier, Scopus, JSTOR, NHI) were searched for relevant publications up to March 2022 examining children’s programming as regards food consumption or food references. Our objective was also to evaluate food presence and any relevant messages, being of negative or positive content, in children’s series. In total, 18 articles were assessed as eligible for the study’s inclusion criteria. Studies included were released from year 1994 up today and the reviewed media content referred to children’s and adolescents programming available worldwide either in cable networks, television channels or box office movies. Evidence shows that children comic series contain mainly unhealthy rather than healthy food references which are of low nutritional value, such as salty snacks, fast foods, and sweets. Some of the studies agree that sweets in the movies and tv series are always placed in a positive environment (either the characters consume the sweets or are just placed in the story’s narrative). In contrast to this, food references which present food such as fruits or vegetables are neutral or even negative in nature and considerably fewer in number. Findings of the present study may help to tailor future health interventions by regulating children’s programming in terms of unhealthy food exposure.
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