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Geospatial mapping of food advertisements in three low-income communities in Cape Town, South Africa

Wentzel, A
Eichinger, M
Hill, J
von Philipsborn, P
Holiday, N
Delobelle, P
Mchiza, Z
Background: The South African food environment is characterized by pervasive marketing on television and in print media of unhealthy food and beverages. Little is known about the extent of outdoor food and beverage marketing (product, spatial advertising, branding) at transport interchange areas, community food outlets, and schools. Our study aimed to map outdoor food and beverage marketing within the vicinities of these areas in three low-income communities in Cape Town. Methods: Data on food and beverage-related branding, product type, placement, pictures, and Global Positioning System coordinates were captured using a web-based questionnaire. Geographic Information System software was used to delimit the target communities and areas, geospatially map the physical food environment, and perform spatial analysis of the data. Results: Overall, 986 food and beverage advertisement entries were observed. Preliminary results depicted trends of advertisements clustering around retailers. Spatial trends depicted that fast food and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) advertisements were likely to collocate around transport interchange areas, while SSB advertisements were more likely to collocate near schools. The spatial trend for alcohol advertisements indicated a clustering near main roads. Spatial trends for product types varied by location. Few advertisements for fruit and vegetables were captured. Further spatial analysis is underway to assess advertisement density and proximity to youth-related areas, food outlets, and transport interchange areas. Conclusions: Low-income communities, commuters, and schoolchildren in South Africa are targeted by advertisements for unhealthy foods and SSBs, indicating the need for policy intervention to regulate food marketing. Key messages: Geospatial mapping of food and beverage advertisements indicated the promotion of unhealthy products in low-income communities in South Africa. Food and beverage adverts target school children and commuters using public transport in poorer communities.
EPH 2023 Conference; abstract published and relevant poster displayed at the European Public Health Conference in Dublin, 8-11 November 2023.
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Wentzel A, Eichinger M, Hill J, von Philipsborn P, Holliday N, Delobelle P, Mchiza Z. Geospatial mapping of food advertisements in three low-income communities in Cape Town, South Africa. Eur J Public Health. 2023 Oct 24;33(Suppl 2):ckad160.1078. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckad160.1078.
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