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Old Sat, Nov-18-00, 18:26
doreen T's Avatar
doreen T doreen T is offline
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Thursday November 16 10:39 AM ET
Women's Magazine Ads Push Fats And Sweets

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Food advertisements in magazines that target women emphasize fats and sweets at the expense of fruits and vegetables, results of a recent study suggest.

Current dietary recommendations stress the importance of grains, fruits and vegetables, but you can't tell that by looking at food ads in magazines read by women, according to Janet Lohmann and Dr. Ashima K. Kant from the City University of New York in Flushing.

Such marketing ``tends to promote foods of questionable nutritional or health value,'' they report in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The investigators found that fats, oils, sweets and beverages accounted for nearly one third of all food advertisements in women's and food magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Cooking Light and Eating Well (a magazine that is no longer published).

Fruit and vegetables were the least-advertised foods in all magazine types, accounting for only 5% of all ads.

Health-oriented magazines had the fewest food advertisements overall. In these magazines, which included Prevention and Health magazines, bread was the most advertised food group, accounting for 29% of all ads. These health magazines had no ads for vegetables and only 2% for fruit.

In other findings, most of the consumer-related claims made by advertisers related to taste. Advertisers also make claims about nutrient modifications, for example, a food was low in fat, sugar or cholesterol.

``The food industry spends enormous amounts of money on various types of media to promote the use of its products,'' Lohmann and Kant write. ``Many consumers rely on information provided to make food purchasing decisions.''

The authors acknowledge that their study was limited to selected magazines and the results may not be true for all such magazines and those targeting different groups of people.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2000;100:1396-1398.

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