Health and Nutrient Content Claims in Food Advertisements on Hispanic and Mainstream Prime-time Television

Jodie Abbatangelo-Gray, Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, S. Bryn Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: Characterize frequency and type of health and nutrient content claims in prime-time weeknight Spanish- and English-language television advertisements from programs shown in 2003 with a high viewership by women aged 18 to 35 years. Design: Comparative content analysis design was used to analyze 95 hours of Spanish-language and 72 hours of English-language television programs (netting 269 and 543 food ads, respectively). Main Outcome Measures: A content analysis instrument was used to gather information on explicit health and nutrient content claims: nutrition information only; diet-disease; structure-function; processed food health outcome; good for one's health; health care provider endorsement. Analysis: Chi-square statistics detected statistically significant differences between the groups. Results: Compared to English-language television, Spanish-language television aired significantly more food advertisements containing nutrition information and health, processed food/health, and good for one's health claims. Samples did not differ in the rate of diet/disease, structure/function, or health care provider endorsement claims. Conclusions and Implications: Findings indicate that Spanish-language television advertisements provide viewers with significantly more nutrition information than English-language network advertisements. Potential links between the deteriorating health status of Hispanics acculturating into US mainstream culture and their exposure to the less nutrition-based messaging found in English-language television should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Hispanic
  • content analysis
  • health claims
  • nutrient content claims
  • television


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