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Children exposed to 554 brands a day

Thursday 20 January 2022 5:09pm

Professor Louise Signal, EDOR member and Head of the University of Otago Wellington School of Public Health, has co-led a new study showing that children are exposed to a brand every minute.

Published in The Lancet Planetary Health scientific journal, this research used Kids'Cam data from wearable cameras worn by 11-13 year old children. They found that children were exposed to 554 brands over a 10-hour day, or nearly a brand a minute.

Professor Signal, along with her colleagues in marketing and population health, determined that the majority of these exposures occurred in school (43%), at home (30%), and in-store (12%), with food and beverages making up the dominant product category. A large number of junk food advertisements were viewed by the children:

"There were 68 junk food ads a day, more than twice the ads we thought before....it's no wonder we have an obesity epidemic", Professor Signal told Newshub.

Children were exposed to more than twice as many harmful commodities as core food and social marketing messages per day. Given that kids are repeatedly exposed to this messaging through multiple mediums and across all settings,  the authors stated that there is an urgent need to reduce this marketing to help address the obesity pandemic and also to avoid overconsumption, which contributes to environmental issues.

Listen to the Newshub story

New Zealand study finds children exposed to a brand every minute, Newshub, 18 January, 2022

Read the study

An objective assessment of children's exposure to brand marketing in New Zealand (Kids'Cam): a cross-sectional study. Watkins L, Gage R, Smith M, McKerchar C, Aitken R, Signal L. Lancet Planet Health. 2022 Jan 11:S2542-5196(21)00290-4.

Find out more about Kids'Cam