Bengaluru, Jun 8 (PTI) Alcohol and fast food product
placement in Bollywood films rose significantly over two
decades, including in those rated for children, according to a
Of the 300 films analysed from the time period 1994-2013,
93 per cent of the movies had at least one occurrence of
alcohol, 70 per cent had at least one occurrence of tobacco,
and 21 per cent films had at least one occurrence of branded
fast food, it said.
The study was published in the scientific journal PLOS
One by researchers from health organisation Vital Strategies
and Imperial College, London, according to a Vital Strategies
"Our study suggests that Bollywood films are contributing
to promoting unhealthy behaviours in their audience,
particularly children," said Dr. Nandita Murukutla, Vice
President, Global Policy and Research, Policy, Advocacy and
Communication, Vital Strategies.
"We hope that this study offers evidence and support to
reduce the marketing of these products in films given the
known health problems they cause, including obesity, heart
disease and cancer", she added.
Tobacco and alcohol occurrences were more common in films
rated for older audiences (A rated films) whereas fast-food
depiction was prominent in movies targeted for all audiences
(U and U/A rated films), the statement said.
"On average, tobacco products or usage was depicted four
times per film, alcohol was shown or used seven times per
film, and branded fast food was shown or used 0.4 times per
film", it said.
"Although depiction of tobacco in these films fell during
the 20-year period of analysis, the placement of alcohol and
branded fast food products significantly increased", the
The researchers expressed the view that the downward
trend in tobacco promotion from 2004 could be attributed to
the regulations related to tobacco advertising, promotions and
sponsorships under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act
and WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control.
"The rise in number of noncommunicable diseases across
the globe is linked with consumption of tobacco, alcohol and
Marketing strategies that promote the consumption of
these products should be strictly regulated using the broad
public health perspective with an aim to reduce the burden of
death and disease, said Professor Christopher Millett, Public
Health Policy Evaluation Unit, Imperial College, London.
The researchers suggested monitoring product placement of
unhealthy commodities and prohibiting funded product placement
continuously on all mediums and reviewing certifications of
films based on product placement of unhealthy products.
They also recommended removing government subsidies in
case of any depiction of unhealthy commodities or violation
that promotes unhealthy commodities, among others. PTI RS