Objectives: One strategy to prevent the onset of non-communicable diseases is to motivate healthy lifestyles through health media messages. In Peru, the food industry is currently implementing such strategy with health message cues, in the form of a small icon of a walking person or a healthy dish, appearing on televised food and beverage advertisements. Yet the extent of this practice is unknown. Thus, the objective of this study was three-fold: to identify (1) the food and beverage advertisements showing health cues, (2) the types of health cues, and (3) their length in time. Study design: Cross-sectional analysis of televised food and beverage advertisements that children and adolescents encounter on Peruvian television. Methods: Content analysis of the presence of a health cue, type of health cue (physical activity and healthy diets), and the length in time of the health cue appearing on televised food and beverage advertisements in Peru. Results: Health cues appeared on over 70% of advertisements for sugary drinks and tended to promote healthy diets more so than physical activity. Conclusions: This study shows that the food industry is currently advertising their products along with health message cues, and children and adolescents are exposed to this practice. Thus, we call for further testing of the effect of these health cues on children's and adolescents' food preferences and behaviors.
- Food and beverage advertising