266249 We're Not Buying It: An Advocacy Approach to Exposing Food Marketing to Children

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:23 PM - 3:35 PM

Juliet Sims, RD, MPH , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Sana Chehimi, MPH , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Ann Whidden, MPH , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
INTRODUCTION: In communities across the country, the foods consumed by children and families has a great deal to do with the marketing practices of major food and beverage companies. By their own estimates, food and beverage companies spend $2 billion per year marketing their products – most of which are unhealthy -- to children alone. The action of local and state advocates offers immense opportunities to shift the policies that drive intensive marketing and access to unhealthy food. METHODS: Drawing on recent food marketing research and tactics employed by the food and beverage industry to hamper food policy, Prevention Institute has created We're Not Buying It, a video that reveals the deceptive lengths that food industries will go to in order to promote unhealthy foods to kids. RESULTS:By highlighting industry practices--from soda companies using school marketing campaigns disguised as charities, to food package labels meant to mislead parents, to online games like trixworld.com--We're Not Buying It calls into question industry claims that they're trying to be part of the solution in the fight for kids' health. Between October 2011 and January 2012, We're Not Buying It has been viewed over 25,000 times, and generated thousands of petition signatures calling for science-based guidelines for foods marketed to kids. DISCUSSION: Using the We're Not Buying It campaign as a case study, this session will delineate strategies to help engage parents and communities in a policy advocacy approach to improve food marketing practices.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify opportunities for parents and communities to reduce harmful food marketing to children through policy advocacy efforts; 2. Demonstrate concrete media tactics, which can build momentum and support for efforts to create healthier food environments; and 3. Apply the lessons learned from this video to future initiatives designed to counter industry practices.

Keywords: Marketing, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principle researcher and author on Claiming Health -- the study highlighted in this abstract -- and a co-developer of the initiative, "We're Not Buying It."
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.