Informations and abstract
Keywords: food advertising, television, nutrition, food pyramid, consumer behaviour.
In a sociological frame, tethering media studies and studies concerning consumption and lifestyles, this essay discusses results reached from an innovative research executed on 2.579 food advertisements transmitted by the main Italian television channel during two weeks of appropriately selected broadcastings. Categories provided by the Italian Food Pyramid were used to compare the principles of a healthy and balanced diet proposed by the Ministry of Health, to that promoted as «nutritional » by the television broadcaster. Based on food advertisements, this essay focuses on the different emphasis awarded on the one hand to the essential categories for a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet, and on the other hand, to «pleasure foods», rich in fats and sugars. Finally, there is a close examination of the content broadcast during the so called «protected time slot» (4 pm-7 pm), during which time broadcasters are expected to televise appropriate content for underage viewers. Underpinning this research is the basic question: how should we feed ourselves if we trust the diet proposed by television?