Food Promotion

What is the exposure and power of promotion of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages to different population groups?

Food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing is recognised as an important factor influencing food choices related to non-communicable diseases.

A step-wise approach, comprising ‘minimal’, ‘expanded’ and ‘optimal’ monitoring activities, has been designed for INFORMAS. This approach can be used to assess the frequency and level of exposure of population groups (especially children) to food promotions, the persuasive power of techniques used in promotional communications (power of promotions) and the nutritional composition of promoted food products.

The proposed framework supports the development of a consistent system for monitoring food and non-alcoholic beverage promotions for comparison between countries and over time.

Dr Bridget Kelly

Dr Bridget Kelly (Coordinator)

Senior Lecturer in Public Health

University of Wollongong, Australia
Email: Dr Bridget Kelly


Tilakavati Karupaiah

Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Email: Tilakavati Karupaiah



Kathryn Backholer

Deakin University, Australia

Email: Kathryn Backholer


Monique Potvin Kent

University of Ottawa, Canada

Email: Monique Potvin Kent


Emma Boyland

University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Email: Emma Boyland


Marie Bragg

New York University, United States

Email: Marie Bragg

Boyland E, Backholer K, Potvin Kent M. Bragg M, Sing F, Karupaiah T, Kelly B. Unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing to children in the digital age: research and policy challenges and priorities. Annual Review of Nutrition. Accepted December 2023.

Kelly, B., Backholer, K., Boyland, E., Kent, M. P., Bragg, M. A., Karupaiah, T., & Ng, S. (2023). Contemporary Approaches for Monitoring Food Marketing to Children to Progress Policy Actions. Current Nutrition Reports.

Backholer K, Gupta A, Zorbas C, Bennett R, Huse O, Chung A, Isaacs A, Golds G, Kelly B,  Peeters A. Differential exposure to, and impact of, unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverage advertising to children by socioeconomic and sociodemographic subgroups: A systematic review of the evidence. Obesity Reviews. 2020 Oct 18. doi: 10.1111/obr.13144.

Kelly, B., King, L., Baur, L., Rayner, M., Lobstein, T., Monteiro, C., Macmullan, J., Mohan, S., Barquera, S., Friel, S., Hawkes, C., Kumanyika, S., L’Abbé, M., Lee, A., Ma, J., Neal, B., Sacks, G., Sanders, D., Snowdon, W., … Walker, C. (2013). Monitoring food and non-alcoholic beverage promotions to children. Obesity Reviews, 14, 59–69.

Below are the INFORMAS protocols to download. Some protocols are still under development – contact us if you would like more information. Please read the terms and conditions regarding the use of the protocols. You must complete this agreement and return it to us if you are using and/or adapting the protocol. You may then use, modify and reproduce the protocol, but the work that results from using the INFORMAS resources remains available to the INFORMAS group and falls under the same ‘copyleft’ principles as the original protocol (i.e., you can’t claim copyright on protocols you develop based on INFORMAS resources). You don’t have to share the whole work that results from using the INFORMAS resources, but are expected to share:

  • Any modifications or updates you make to the protocol (e.g., updates for your own country)
  • The final (cleaned) data as collected using the protocol.

Outdoor advertising: School zones Sports Sponsorship (contact INFORMAS for protocol) Food marketing: Television

Global benchmarking of children’s exposure to television advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages across 22 countries – using WHO Europe nutrient profile model.


Restricting children’s exposures to marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages is a global obesity prevention priority. Monitoring marketing exposures supports informed policymaking. This study presents a global overview of children’s television advertising exposure to healthy and unhealthy products. Twenty‐two countries contributed data, captured between 2008 and 2017. Advertisements were coded for the nature of foods and beverages, using the 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) Europe Nutrient Profile Model (should be permitted/not‐permitted to be advertised). Peak viewing times were defined as the top five hour time slots for children. On average, there were four times more advertisements for foods/beverages that should not be permitted than for permitted foods/beverages. The frequency of food/beverages advertisements that should not be permitted per hour was higher during peak viewing times compared with other times (P < 0.001). During peak viewing times, food and beverage advertisements that should not be permitted were higher in countries with industry self‐regulatory programmes for responsible advertising compared with countries with no policies. Globally, children are exposed to a large volume of television advertisements for unhealthy foods and beverages, despite the implementation of food industry programmes. Governments should enact

Read the publication here.