Children's content regulation and the 'obesity epidemic'

Leonie Rutherford, Dean Biron, Helen Skouteris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Some 30 years ago, Australia introduced the Children's Television Standards (CTS) with the twin goals of providing children with high-quality local programs and offering some protection from the perceived harms of television. The most recent review of the CTS occurred in the context of a decade of increasing international concern at rising levels of overweight and obesity, especially in very young children. Overlapping regulatory jurisdictions and co-regulatory frameworks complicate the process of addressing pressing issues of child health, while rapid changes to the media ecology have both extended the amount of programming for children and increased the economic challenges for producers. Our article begins with an overview of the conceptual shifts in priorities articulated in the CTS over time. Using the 2007-09 Review of the CTS as a case study, it then examines the role of research and stakeholder discourses in the CTS review process and critiques the effectiveness of existing regulatory regimes, both in providing access to dedicated children's content and in addressing the problem of escalating obesity levels in the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number140
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this