Study Finds Nickelodeon Posts Modest Decline in Junk-Food Marketing
Nearly two-thirds of the food ads on kids’ television powerhouse Nickelodeon were for Baby Bottle Pops, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Gushers, and other junk foods, according to new research published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The nonprofit nutrition and food safety watchdog group found that the network—which prides itself on its health and wellness efforts—aired no ads for fruits or vegetables or any public service announcements during the 28 hours of programming CSPI examined. And while the percentage of ads that were for unhealthy food has steadily dropped since CSPI began monitoring Nickelodeon in 2005, the raw number of junk foods remained constant, but for an unexplained one-time drop in 2012.
In 2005, 88 percent of the food ads on Nickelodeon were for unhealthy food. That percentage dipped modestly to 78 percent in 2008 and then to 69 percent in 2012 and 65 percent in 2015. In all of CSPI’s studies of Nickelodeon’s food advertising the group examined 28 hours of coverage between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.