Preventing overconsumption of fast food by young people: Strategies to improve fast food nutritional quality and reduce restaurant visits
Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
There is increasing evidence of the negative influence of fast food on young people’s diets and health due to the poor nutritional quality of fast-food offerings as well as pervasive marketing and easy access that encourage restaurant visits. Public health experts recommend reducing young people’s caloric intake from fast food to help prevent childhood obesity and related disease. In response, fast-food restaurants have launched initiatives to improve the nutritional quality of fast-food offerings, including children’s meals, while at the same time increasing television advertising and other forms of marketing targeted to children and adolescents. In this session, we demonstrate the need for public health interventions to improve the nutritional quality of fast-food offerings, as well as reduce the frequency of fast-food restaurant visits, especially for children and adolescents. Dr. Schwartz, Dr. Harris, and Dr. Powell will introduce the latest research on the nutritional quality of fast-food restaurant foods, how these products are marketed to children and youth, and the influence of advertising on consumption of fast food by young people. Their research will evaluate the effectiveness of recent improvements initiated by fast-food restaurants. We also present potential public health interventions to improve the fast-food environment and young people’s health. Ms. Pomeranz will identify legal opportunities to regulate fast-food restaurant retail and marketing practices at the national, state, and local level. Ms. Nonas will describe the importance of increasing access to healthy foods and reducing access to unhealthy foods to prevent obesity, and New York City’s experiences in regulating restaurants to accomplish both objectives. Dr. Kumanyika will discuss the need for further public health initiatives to improve the fast-food environment, especially in communities of color.
Session Objectives: Describe youth-targeted fast-food offerings and marketing practices and analyze their influence on young people’s diets. Evaluate companies’ progress in improving the nutritional quality of fast-food offerings, including children’s meals, and improving fast-food marketing to children and adolescents. Identify options for public health interventions to reduce consumption of calorie-dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages at fast-food restaurants.
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Organized by: Food and Nutrition
Endorsed by: Black Caucus of Health Workers
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)