273115 Food and Beverage Marketing: Objective Measures to Inform Policy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Keryn Pasch, PhD, MPH , Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas, Austin, TX
Obesity rates among youth, while leveling off in recent years, have more than tripled since 1980. While this increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity is influenced by a multitude of factors, food and beverage marketing and its resulting influence on the dietary preferences and choices of youth is thought to be a key factor in the development of this chronic health condition. While research has documented the relationship between food and beverage marketing and obesity-related outcomes, policy efforts to reduce marketing to youth have met with limited success. This presentation will discuss the methodological implications for assessing food and beverage marketing within a multi-level context to inform policy and practice. Methodological strategies and results from several studies will be highlighted that use objective measures to provide evidence of adolescents' exposure to food and beverage marketing. The first study uses eye-tracking, a computer-based technology that provides an unobtrusive, real time descriptive analysis of an individual's point of gaze, sequence of gaze, and length of attention for food and beverage advertisements. Two additional studies documenting and describing the outdoor and in-school environments using observations of all food and beverage marketing within one half mile of schools and all food and beverage marketing in school will be discussed. Given that little attention has focused on outdoor and in-school environments, objective measurements can provide evidence of the extent of exposure. These studies will highlight how objective measures may help to inform policy.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Following the presentation, audience members will be able to describe modern approaches to evaluating food marketing strategies to inform nutrition policies.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of a federally funded grant focusing on measuring the outdoor advertising environment. I have also conducted several studies using eye-tracking technology. I have published several papers and chapters on these topics.
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.