Unhealthy food marketing around New Zealand schools: a national study
This is the first nationwide analysis of food marketing around New Zealand (NZ) schools.
Zones (500-m network buffers) were created around a sample of 950 schools (37.5% of total) using ArcGIS. Foods advertised were classified according to the NZ Food and Beverage Classification System and the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe Nutrient Profile Model. Convenience, fast food and takeaway outlets were mapped.
About 65% of foods were not permitted to be marketed to children by the WHO model. The median and maximum number of non-permitted foods was 16.2 per km2 and 805.9 per km2, and the median number of junk food advertisements was 10.6 per km2 for urban schools. The proportion of junk food advertisements was significantly higher around schools with the highest (50.7% vs. 37.4%, p < 0.001) compared to the lowest number of socio-economically deprived children. Sugar-sweetened beverages (N = 4584, 20.4%) and fast food (N = 4329, 19.2%) were most frequently marketed. The median and maximum number of unhealthy outlets around schools was 5 and 212, respectively.
NZ schools are surrounded by unhealthy food marketing. Regulations to restrict such marketing need to be implemented.
KeywordsFood marketing School zones New Zealand Food environments
The authors want to thank Euan Forsyth and Zaynel Sushil for their work on creating the school areas and school food zones in ArcGIS.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest exist.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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