#461: Prof. Emma Boyland – How Food Marketing Impacts Eating Behaviour

In Podcasts by Danny Lennon2 Comments

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Guest Information
  3. Overview
  4. Related Resources
  5. Detailed Study Notes (Premium Subscribers Only)
  6. Transcript (Premium Subscribers Only)


Research has shown that food marketing strongly impacts children’s eating behaviour. Marketing influences food purchase requests, purchases, and preferences.

And the evidence of a relationship between food marketing exposure and obesity meets epidemiological criteria for causality. The evidence suggests that the impact of food marketing is a function of both exposure to the marketing message and its persuasive power.

What does the current evidence tell us about the exact effect of marketing on food choices? And beyond that, what strategies are likely to yield the best results in terms of mitigating the harms of food marketing on eating behaviour, particularly in children and adolescents?

To help answer these questions, subject area expert Prof. Emma Boyland is on the podcast to discuss what is currently known.

Guest Information

Prof. Emma Boyland, PhD

Dr. Emma Boyland is a Senior Lecturer in appetite and obesity at the Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool. Dr. Boyland’s key research interest focuses on the way foods and beverages are marketed and how this impacts eating behavious, particularly in children. Specifically, her work explores the effects of food promotion on children’s food preferences, choices, and ingestive behaviour.

Prof. Boyland aims to quantify the extent and nature of food advertising via television, new media and other sources (e.g., outdoor advertising) and elucidate the effects of branding activity (e.g., use of promotional characters) on children’s responses to advertising.

She has recently updated WHO global evidence reviews on the impact of food marketing on eating behaviour and health and the effectiveness of food marketing policies to inform international WHO guidelines. She sits on the WHO Global Steering Committee for digital food marketing, is an expert advisor to both WHO Europe and UNICEF.


  • The ability for advertising to influence people’s food intake
  • “People should have free choice to choose”: Is this a valid reason to oppose more regulation?
  • Protocols to monitor food marketing to children from the World Health Organization
  • Impact of energy-dense TV and online food advertising on children’s dietary intake
  • Implicit and explicit health messages are increasingly prevalent in television food advertising viewed by children, and are frequently used to promote unhealthy foods.
  • Impact of social media, influencer marketing, etc.
  • The effect of policies to restrict the marketing of foods and beverages to children
  • Why industry ‘self-regulation’ fails
  • What is the path forward? Effective strategies? Ineffective strategies (wheel-spinning)?
  • Is there cause for optimism?

Detailed Study Notes

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  1. I don’t know if it was just my podcast app (Podcast Addict), but the editing made it difficult to listen to this episode. Many words were cut off and sounded garbled, so it was at times difficult to figure out what was being said. Very interesting episode, though!

    1. Author

      Hi Katherine,

      Do you get the same issue when listening at the top of this page? Can you give me a timestamp for any examples? I’m not finding any issues on this end yet.

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