Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Jane A. Ungemack, Angela Bermúdez-Millán, Zita Lazzarini, Joseph A. Burleson

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


Objectives. To evaluate the impact of junk food marketing policies implemented worldwide from 2003 through 2014 on nationwide junk food sales and to identify the most effective policy characteristics in reducing junk food sales.

Methods. Junk food marketing policy data were obtained and categorized through a thorough literature review. These data were analyzed using a repeated measures design against EuroMonitor junk food sales data from 2002 and 2016.

Results. Countries with junk food marketing policies saw a decrease in junk food sales after implementation, while those without said policies saw an increase in sales. Countries with statutory policies saw a decrease in junk food sales, while those with only self-regulation saw an increase. Comprehensive audience restrictions, standardized nutrition criteria and mandated messaging were policy characteristics significantly associated with a decrease in junk food sales.

Conclusion. This study utilizes a novel approach to evaluate the effectiveness of junk food marketing policies by measuring changes in country-level junk food sales. Countries with statutory junk food marketing policies have demonstrated a significant decrease in junk food sales that is not seen in countries with only self-regulatory policies. This is consistent with previous studies that have found statutory policies to be successful in reducing children’s exposure to junk food advertisements, while self-regulatory efforts have little to no impact. In order to effectively reduce the exposure and impact of child-targeted junk food marketing, governments should establish strong and comprehensive statutory regulations.

Major Advisor

Jane A. Ungemack