An observational study of child-directed marketing on prepackaged breakfast cereals in South Africa
Background: Childhood obesity is on the rise in South Africa (SA) and child-directed marketing (CDM) is one of the contributing factors to children’s unhealthy food choices and consumption. This study assessed CDM on pre-packaged breakfast cereals available in South African supermarkets and describe the nutrient composition of these pre-packaged products. Methods: A descriptive observational study of CDM on pre-packaged breakfast cereals was undertaken with quantitative analysis of the nutrient composition of these products. Secondary data from the “Researching obesogenic food environments in South Africa and Ghana” study in 2019 was examined. An independently reviewed codebook of definitions of CDM was developed and breakfast cereals were assessed to identify CDM. The CDM questionnaire was developed in REDCap, an online research database and data captured therein. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for cross tabulations and one-way ANOVAs. All analysis with p value < 0.05 was taken as significant.