Recall of food marketing on videogame livestreaming platforms: Associations with adolescent diet-related behaviours and health

Rebecca Evans, Paul Christiansen, Travis Masterson, Catherine Pollack, Sondos Albadri, Emma Boyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Digital media has become an integral part of adolescents’ lives. Mirroring this trend, food and non-alcoholic beverage (hereafter: food) brands increasingly promote products in digital media to maximise reach with young consumers. Videogame livestreaming platforms, where individuals can broadcast or watch streamed videogame footage, are a growing form of digital media. The top three platforms (market share by hours watched) are Twitch (72%), YouTube Gaming (13%), and Facebook Gaming Live (9%), with a combined 34.6 billion hours watched in 2021. These platforms represent a hybridisation of two popular digital trends amongst teenagers: viewing online video content and playing videogames. On these platforms, gaming influencers promote food brands and products, with energy drinks and fast-food restaurants representing the most frequently promoted categories. Evidence suggests that food marketing via Twitch is associated with food craving, purchasing and consumption in adults. Yet, despite the evident teenage appeal and prevalence of food marketing on these platforms, research is yet to explore its associations with adolescent eating behaviour. Adolescents (n = 490, Mage = 16.81, 30.2% female) completed an online cross-sectional questionnaire exploring their recall of food marketing on the top three videogame livestreaming platforms, and relevant behavioural (purchase, consumption) and health (Body Mass Index) outcomes. Structural equation modelling was used to explore hierarchical relationships between the key variables. Results showed that recall of unhealthy food marketing on these platforms was significantly associated with purchase and consumption of marketed food categories. Attitudes towards unhealthy foods mediated this relationship. Findings are the first to demonstrate the relationships between unhealthy food marketing via videogame livestreaming platforms and adolescent eating behaviours, which has implications for the design of policies to restrict digital food marketing to young people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106584
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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