Background: Marketing of food supplements in Greece in print media has not been examined and this study will be the first to provide a comparative statistical analysis.
Methods: Lifestyle magazines which were distributed all over Greece and aimed at women and men were collected the years 2014 and 2016. Five criteria with their subcriteria were developed and were related to the branding of the food supplements; their quality characteristics; to the information given about health concerns; to photographs of people who promoted food supplements and claims of their suitability.
Results: It seems that in terms of product branding women’s magazines were more likely to be targeted. Some quality characteristics such as information about the ingredients of food supplements or information about banned substances were more likely to be seen in women’s magazines in 2016. In 2014 and 2016 not all advertisements provided information about health concerns and among those which informed readers about health concerns, it seems differentiation in target audiences. Photographs which showed people promoting food supplements as well as claims of suitability for various categories of consumers, seem to be gendered in 2014 but this trend was not strong enough in 2016.
Conclusion: It can be argued that the marketing of food supplements was aggressive and gendered in 2014 and has changed in 2016 with better information on public health but had retained some gendered stereotypes.