Fast-food consumption and the ban on advertising targeting children: The Quebec experience

Tirtha Dhar, Kathy Baylis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amid growing concerns about childhood obesity and the associated health risks, several countries are considering banning fast-food advertising targeting children. In this article, the authors study the effect of such a ban in the Canadian province of Quebec. Using household expenditure survey data from 1984 to 1992, authors examine whether expenditure on fast food is lower in those groups affected by the ban than in those that are not. The authors use a triple difference-indifference methodology by appropriately defining treatment and control groups and find that the ban's effectiveness is not a result of the decrease in fast food expenditures per week but rather of the decrease in purchase propensity by 13% per week. Overall, the authors estimate that the ban reduced fast-food consumption by US$88 million per year. The study suggests that advertising bans can be effective provided media markets do not overlap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-813
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Advertising regulation
  • Difference-in-difference estimator
  • Fast food
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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