Marketing Has Heavy Influence on Latino Childhood Obesity
Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a series on new Salud America! research briefs examining Latino youth nutrition, physical activity and marketing. Today’s focus is marketing.
A new Salud America! research brief shows that:
- The amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, particularly among Latinos.
- Latinos are avid users of digital media, including the Internet and mobile phones, among other new media platforms (e.g., Facebook, MySpace).
- Latino youth, have been identified as an important target market segment among fast-food and soda companies.
- Children viewing Spanish-language TV in the U.S. are heavily exposed to food and drink commercials.
- Low-income Latino communities are disproportionately exposed to outdoor ads for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages.
- Latinos perceive greater exposure to fast-food promotions and see fast-food restaurants as more conveniently located relative to whites.
To address the paucity of research on the influence of marketing practices specifically targeted to Latino youth, a full range of studies is necessary related to these findings.
But what should policymakers do?
Policymakers should, as the brief suggests, consider banning all junk-food advertising to young children and banning junk-food advertising techniques that are deceptive and misleading to adolescents to reduce the potential influence of marketing for high-calorie, low nutrient-dense foods. Fast-food, soda, snack, and cereal companies should be encouraged to adopt meaningful standards for child-targeted marketing.
Also, public and private funds should be used for culturally competent, Spanish-language
counter-marketing and health promotion efforts.
Read more here.
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