Advertisements for unhealthy foods and drinks are common on television and other media around the world. However, at least 16 countries (excluding the United States), limit unhealthy food advertisements in some way. Foods and drinks are also shown to the public through popular media, such as movies. In a recent study, trained researchers viewed 250 popular movies to look at the quality of food and drinks shown. They found that in 73% of the most influential U.S. movies over recent years, the quality of the food shown was unhealthy enough to fail legal nutrition advertising standards in the United Kingdom. It was even worse for drinks. In fact, 90% of movies showed unhealthy drinks. There was no improvement in nutrition scores over time or for younger audiences. The foods and drinks shown in the movies failed U.S. federal recommendations for saturated fat, fiber, and sodium, featuring much higher sugar content and alcohol. This study suggests that popular movies tend to depict an unhealthy diet. Promoting unhealthy foods and beverages in the media is a sociocultural problem that extends beyond advertisements.


Photo by from Pexels