Regulation of advertising for unhealthy food and beverage products to children

Unhealthy living habits may result in overweight, obesity and secondary diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Childhood overweight and obesity are prevalent. Children and young are extra susceptible to commercial messages. An important question is if today’s regulation of advertising is enough for young consumers or if there are reasons for further regulation to protect their health.


Advertising of unhealthy food and beverage products to children – Does statutory regulation or self-regulation by the industry have an effect?

Identified studies

  1. Chambers SA, Freeman R, Anderson AS, MacGillivray S. Reducing the volume, exposure and negative impacts of advertising for foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children: A systematic review of the evidence from statutory and self-regulatory actions and educational measures. Prev Med 2015;75:32-43.
  2. Smithers LG, Lynch JW, Merlin T. Industry self-regulation and TV advertising of foods to Australian children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2014;50:386-392.
  3. Galbraith-Emami S, Lobstein T. The impact of initiatives to limit the advertising of food and beverage products to children: a systematic review. Obes Rev 2013;14:960-74.

SBU Enquiry Service Consists of structured literature searches to highlight studies that can address questions received by the SBU Enquiry Service from Swedish healthcare or social service providers. We assess the risk of bias in systematic reviews and when needed also quality and transferability of results in health economic studies. Relevant references are compiled by an SBU staff member, in consultation with an external expert when needed.

Published: 12/14/2018
Contact SBU:
Report no: ut201836
Registration no: SBU 2018/532