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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

versión On-line ISSN 2174-5145versión impresa ISSN 2173-1292


MORALES RODRIGUEZ, Félix Alexis et al. Assessment of the Spanish television advertisements on processed and ultra-processed foods, applying the UK traffic light labelling. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2017, vol.21, n.3, pp.221-229. ISSN 2174-5145.


Given the interest in reducing the consumption of foods with low nutritional value, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the nutritional quality of the advertisements of processed and ultra-processed foods in the Spanish television.

Material and Methods:

A transversal, observational and descriptive study was carried out on television processed and ultra-processed foods advertisements for the four general television channels and the children’s channel with advertising and larger audiences. The analysis was performed within one weekday and one weekend day, during the two respective slots with the highest average audience. The repetition frequency of the advertisements of each registered product was taken into account and the UK traffic light labelling was applied for the assessment. The main color profile was established for the overall of chanells and also for each one separately.


Processed and ultra-processed foods advertisements composed 19.6% of total. The pressure of this type of advertising on the children’s channel (36.8%) was twice higher than the average of general channels (17.4%). The majority traffic light labelling profile of the set was red for fats and saturated fats, and green for sugars and salt. The children’s channel Boing presented the worst nutrient profile, being red for all nutrients analyzed, except for salt, which was amber. Telecinco presented the best profile, being green for all nutrients analyzed.


The advertising of processed and ultra-processed foods on television in Spain presents an overall nutritional quality that needs to be improved, especially in the case of the analyzed children’s channel, which would suggest adopting more effective policies that limit children’s exposure to unhealthy advertising.

Palabras clave : Food Labeling; Television; Advertising as Topic; Food Analysis.

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