Racial/ethnic and income disparities in child and adolescent exposure to food and beverage television ads across the U.S. media markets

Health Place. 2014 Sep;29:124-31. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.06.006. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


Obesity prevalence and related health burdens are greater among U.S. racial/ethnic minority and low-income populations. Targeted advertising may contribute to disparities. Designated market area (DMA) spot television ratings were used to assess geographic differences in child/adolescent exposure to food-related advertisements based on DMA-level racial/ethnic and income characteristics. Controlling for unobserved DMA-level factors and time trends, child/adolescent exposure to food-related ads, particularly for sugar-sweetened beverages and fast-food restaurants, was significantly higher in areas with higher proportions of black children/adolescents and lower-income households. Geographically targeted TV ads are important to consider when assessing obesity-promoting influences in black and low-income neighborhoods.

Keywords: Income disparities; Media markets; Racial/ethnic disparities; Television advertising.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising / statistics & numerical data*
  • Beverages*
  • Black or African American
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethnicity
  • Fast Foods*
  • Food Industry / trends
  • Food*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Poverty Areas
  • Prevalence
  • Restaurants
  • Television*
  • United States