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Body-cams reveal Kiwi kids’ excessive exposure to marketing messages

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Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

New Zealand children are exposed to almost a brand every minute from the moment they wake up to when they fall asleep, according to new research from the University of Otago. Researchers attached body-cameras to 90 children between the ages of 11 and 13, which captured images every 7 seconds to help quantify children’s exposure to brand labels, product packaging, and advertisements. Authors of the study say that children’s lives are being saturated by marketing promoting harmful products, with unhealthy commodities and behaviours such as junk food, alcohol and gambling appearing in the body-cam images twice as often as core-food and social marketing messages. These harmful messages appeared even more often for children from poorer households. They argue we must urgently change marketing standards to challenge the normalisation of overconsumption at such a young age, especially if we want future generations to change their purchasing habits to help quell the climate crisis.

Journal/conference: The Lancet Planetary Health

Link to research (DOI): 10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00290-4

Organisation/s: University of Otago

Funder: This research was funded by a University of Otago, Dean's Research Grant. The Kids'Cam study was funded by a Health Research Council of New Zealand Programme Grant (13/724).

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