3335.0 The Food Marketing Environment: Barriers and Opportunities to Action to Improve Children’s Health

Monday, October 29, 2012: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
In 2006, the Institute of Medicine concluded that food and beverage marketing to children is “out of balance with healthful diets and contributes to an environment that puts their health at risk.” They recommended that food and beverage companies; the media; parents, caregivers, and families; schools; policymakers; and researchers all take action to create a healthy food marketing environment that protects children from a lifetime of obesity and related chronic diseases. More than five years later, public health researchers have documented minimal improvements in the amount and nutritional quality of food products marketed to children. In this session, we present the latest research on the food marketing environment and evidence of the barriers and opportunities to make the dramatic changes that are required. We will focus on three key change agents: the food industry, parents, and policymakers. The first speaker will demonstrate that, in spite of food industry pledges to improve food marketing to children through self-regulation, food companies have been reluctant to substantially change the nutritional quality of products advertised to children on television. The second speaker will provide evidence that food companies now utilize a variety of marketing techniques, not all covered by the food industry self-regulation initiative, to create integrated marketing campaigns targeted to children that affect children’s health. The third speaker will then present the results of a 3-year study of parents’ attitudes about food marketing to children, highlighting support for regulation and common misperceptions about food company marketing practices. The fourth speaker will describe potential public policy alternatives to industry self-regulation, including opportunities for communities to regulate food marketing to children despite the barrier raised by the First Amendment. Finally, the last speaker will present "We’re Not Buying It," an initiative created by Prevention Institute to activate parents and local communities to demand change in food marketing policy. The implications of these barriers and opportunities on successfully changing the food marketing environment to improve children’s health will be discussed.
Session Objectives: 1. Evaluate companies’ progress in improving the food marketing environment through self-regulation of child-directed marketing; 2. Assess barriers and opportunities for parents to demand that food companies change their marketing practices; and 3. Identify options for parents and communities to reduce harmful food marketing to children through public policy and advocacy.
Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA

Introductory Remarks Dr. Harris will briefly introduce each of the presentation topics and speakers. Learning Objective: List the topics to be covered and describe the speakers’ backgrounds. Jennifer Harris, PhD, MBA
Nutritional Content of Food Advertising Directed to Children on Television
Lisa Powell, PhD, Rebecca Schermbeck, MPH, MS, RD and Frank J. Chaloupka, PhD
Integrated tactics for marketing food to children: Below the belt and regulation radar
Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam, PhD, MBA, Nora J. Rifon, PhD, MA and Lorraine Weatherspoon, PhD, MS
What are they thinking? Parents' attitudes about food marketing to their children
Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA, Marlene B. Schwartz, PhD and Kelly D. Brownell, PhD
We're Not Buying It: An Advocacy Approach to Exposing Food Marketing to Children
Juliet Sims, RD, MPH, Sana Chehimi, MPH and Ann Whidden, MPH
Discussion Dr. Brownell will respond to the presentations as a discussant based on his extensive research on food marketing to children and its impact and his involvement in related policy discussions. Learning Objective: 1. Evaluate the barriers and opportunities to changing the food marketing environment; and 2. Discuss the implications for successfully changing the food marketing environment to improve children’s health. Kelly D. Brownell, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Food and Nutrition
Endorsed by: Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Planning and Policy Development

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: Food and Nutrition