The volume and type of unhealthy bus shelter advertising around schools in Perth, Western Australia: Results from an explorative study
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Issue addressed: Exposure to advertising for unhealthy food, alcohol and gambling has been shown to influence children and adolescents' behaviours and attitudes. This exploratory study aimed to assess the volume and type of unhealthy bus shelter advertisements near schools in five local government areas in Perth, Western Australia and to monitor whether the volume of unhealthy advertisements varied seasonally. Methods: The 29 local governments in the Perth metropolitan region were contacted seeking information regarding the locations of bus shelters featuring advertisements in their local government area. Five local governments provided sufficient information for an audit of the bus shelter advertisements in their area to be conducted. Every bus shelter within 500 m of a school was photographed and the type of advertisement recorded. The advertisements in the food, non-alcoholic beverage, alcohol, or gambling categories were then classified as being healthy, moderate, or unhealthy. This process was carried out in June, September, December 2016, and March 2017 to ascertain whether the type of advertisements displayed changed depending on the season. Results: Of the 293 advertisements recorded over the four audits, 31% featured unhealthy products, 3% moderate, and <1% healthy. Only two of the 293 advertisements were classified as being healthy. Seasonal variation in the volume of unhealthy advertisements was not identified. So what?: Western Australian school students are regularly exposed to unhealthy bus shelter advertisements. Stricter regulation of outdoor advertising is needed to ensure that young people are protected from the influence of unhealthy industries.
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