(HealthDay News) – Two popular U.S. parenting magazines give little attention in terms of articles or advertisements to preventing skin cancer risk, according to a study published in the April issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Corey H. Basch, EdD, MPH, from William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, and colleagues assessed a sample of issues of two popular parenting magazines published in the spring and summer during an 11-year period to describe the prevalence of articles and advertisements related to skin cancer prevention. A total of 2,594 articles were reviewed, and 6,307 advertisements were observed.

The researchers found that 2.2% of the articles were related to skin and 19.6% were related to health. Nearly half (42.1%) of the skin-related articles focused on sun protection. The topics covered in health-related articles ranged from fitness to emotional and behavioral issues. The frequency and percentage of skin and health articles did not change substantially over time. With respect to advertisements, 78.1% pertained to topics that were unrelated to health. Of the remaining advertisements, 8.5% focused on skin products, 81.8% of which were for skin products without sun protection factor. About 1% of the total advertisements were for sun block. During the 11-year period, the nature and scope of advertising relating to skin cancer risk reduction was similar in the two magazines.

“These findings suggest that parenting magazines and companies advertising in this medium can do much more to assist parents in making informed decisions about preventing skin cancer risk among youth,” the authors write.

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