232869 Implementing Junk Food and Beverage Marketing Bans in Schools

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sara M.A. Donahue, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Michele Polacsek, PhD, MHS , Programs in Public Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Karen O'Rourke, MPH , Center for Community and Public Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Janet Whatley Blum, ScD , Department of Exercise, Health, and Sport Sciences, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME
Liam O'Brien, PhD , Department of Mathematics, Colby College, Waterville, ME
Britney Nelson, BS , Department o Exercise, Health, and Sport Sciences, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME
Introduction and Background: Direct advertising and other marketing activities present in schools are used to promote products and to influence brand recognition, preference, and loyalty among members of the school community. In 2007, Maine became the first state to pass legislation limiting the advertising of foods of minimal nutritional value on public K-12 school campuses. The law (Chapter 156) bans brand-specific advertising of foods or beverages that do not meet specified nutritional standards; such advertising is not allowed anywhere on school property. Little is known about how to successfully implement policies and practices to address marketing of non-nutritious foods and beverages in the school setting. The aims of this study were to 1) evaluate the implementation of school junk food and beverage marketing bans and related policies and 2) identify factors that support successful implementation and maintenance of such policies. Methods: A cross sectional observational study was conducted in February and March, 2010. School marketing environments were observed and two key school administrators were interviewed in each of 20 randomly-selected Maine high schools to explore variations in school food marketing practices and policies and to determine school administrators' perceptions since inception of Chapter 156. Information from document review and key informant interviews with state and local stakeholders was used to supplement the in-school observations. Expected Results: Key organizational characteristics, contextual factors, leverage points, strategic decisions, and communication techniques influencing the development, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of Chapter 156 and related school district-level policies are described. Discussion: The paucity of information around school food and beverage marketing policy and program implementation threatens their effectiveness. This study of Maine's experience restricting non-nutritious food and beverage advertising in schools is an important first step to describe factors that may influence the success of school marketing policy implementation. Findings can inform the development of practical strategies to address identified barriers to implementation, in Maine and elsewhere.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the implementation of a state junk food and beverage marketing ban. Compare practical implementation tools for school junk food and beverage marketing bans and related policies. Identify policy and public health and education system supports for the successful implementation, monitoring, and assessment of school junk food and beverage marketing bans and related policies.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Child/Adolescent

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research Assistant on this research project and I am a doctoral student in Maternal and Child Health at the Boston University School of Public Health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.