Research: Latino Kids Are a Top Target of Junk Food Ads
Much of this kid-focused advertising is for unhealthy foods, studies show.
But additional industry self-regulation and governmental regulation—stimulated by community awareness and action—can help limit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to Latino kids, according to a new package of research materials from Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children.
Download the new Salud America! “Healthier Marketing & Latino Kids” research materials, which include a research review of the latest science, an original animated video, and an infographic.
Latino kids have higher overall levels of media exposure in a typical day (13 hours) than do their White counterparts (8.36 hours).
Studies have shown that Spanish-language TV and outdoor billboards disproportionately expose Latino kids to unhealthy food messages.
Industry self-regulation of marketing to kids is mixed.
“Evidence suggests that policymakers and the public should recognize marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to youths as a public health problem in need of policy solutions,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Salud America! is a national network of stakeholders seeking environmental and policy solutions to Latino obesity.
She said one study found ways local communities can improve food marketing practices:
- menu labeling;
- prohibiting food sales in non-food retailers;
- prohibiting the sale and advertising of unhealthy foods on campus; and
- creating vending contracts that limit the sale and marketing of unhealthy food and drinks in parks or other active spaces.
“States and municipalities also could conduct public hearings at the state and local levels to raise awareness and initiate community action to reduce community-based exposure of unhealthy product campaigns that specifically target Latino youths,” Ramirez said.
The new research package is the fifth of six new research material packages by Salud America!, each of which focused on a specific topic on Latino childhood obesity.
Download all the packages at www.salud-america.org.