Amount of Hispanic Youth Exposure to Food and Beverage Advertising on Spanish-and-English-Language Television

Nutrient-poor categories of food and beverage comprised approximately one-half of food advertisements viewed by Hispanic youth on Spanish-language television.

Using a Nielsen panel of television-viewing households, this study captured the amounts and categories of food and beverage advertising that Hispanic and non-Hispanic preschoolers, children, and adolescents view on Spanish- and English-language television.

Key Findings:

  • In 2010, Hispanic youth watched an average of 11.6 to 12.4 television food ads per day. 
  • While food ads appeared less frequently on Spanish-language television, approximately one-half of those promoted nutrient-poor fast food, breakfast cereal, and candy.

Children ages eight or younger lack the cognitive ability to recognize advertising as persuasive. Especially troubling then, is the results of this study which show that Hispanic preschoolers (2 to 5 years of age) watched 24 more minutes per day than non-Hispanic preschoolers. Continued monitoring of food and beverage advertising to Hispanic youth is warranted, especially since marketing to Hispanics is expected to increase.