Objective: The aim of this study was to model children’s potential exposure to television food advertisements under different regulatory scenarios to demonstrate the policy implications of regulatory change in Australia.
Methods: Television advertising data was collected from Sydney commercial television channels from 14-20 May 2006. Extrapolating from these data, the patterns of food advertising under four regulatory
scenarios were examined, including arrangements restricting the content, volume and timing of advertisements.
Results: Each scenario resulted in a reduction of total and non-core food advertisements. The scenario to restrict non-core food advertisements during the major viewing period (7:00-20:30) led to the largest reduction in total and non-core food advertisements (79.2% reduction), with no change in the frequency of core food advertisements.
Conclusions: The results illustrate the potential for reducing children’s exposure to food advertising through simple regulatory restrictions.
Implications: This research contributes to future debates on the regulation of television food advertising. It is particularly relevant as Australian regulations will be under review in 2007.