Posts tagged RWJF
Editor’s note: This editorial by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez was part of a MomsRising blog carnival on Oct. 30, 2013.
Food marketing to kids is a huge piece of the U.S. obesity puzzle.
Latino kids are a prime target for food marketers, largely because of their large population numbers—they comprise 22% of all U.S. youth and will rise to 30% by 2025.
But there are other reasons they are such a target.
Latino kids have higher rates of exposure to media—TV, computers, video games, etc.—in a typical day than do their white peers, about 13 hours compared with 8.36 hours. And Latino teens have been called “superconsumers” of soda, candy, and snacks spending 4% more than non-Latino teens.
About 84% of kid-targeted food and drinks ads on Spanish-language TV promote foods in the lowest nutritional category, versus 74% on English channels, one study found. Another study found that Latino neighborhoods have nine times more outdoor ads for unhealthy foods and drinks than White neighborhoods.
How do marketers target Latino kids with food ads?
Marketers consider relevant ethnic-specific media channels, social institutions (i.e., churches) and shopping patterns.
They use Latino-relevant ethnic symbols, linguistic styles, music, athletes and celebrities to link cultural values with certain foods.
Spanish-language websites also target Latina moms, who they view as the decision-makers for food products bought for kids. Fast-food companies have developed ethnically targeted web content, such as McDonald’s MeEncanta.com.
What can be done to limit unhealthy marketing to Latino kids?
Food and beverage industry self-regulation of marketing to youths is mixed, and government regulation of food marketing to kids is limited.
Some efforts are going on. For example, the Walt Disney Company in 2012 announced a plan to phase junk food advertising out of its TV and radio programming targeted at kids.
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 children.
Local actions, according to one study, include:
- In food retail markets, limit amount of store window space dedicated to signs, and/or require “healthy check-out aisles.”
- In toy and sporting-goods stores where food isn’t the main product, prohibit food sales.
- In restaurants, enact local menu labeling laws and restrict placement of fast-food restaurants near schools or the density of fast food.
- In schools, can prohibit the sale and advertising of unhealthy foods on campus, including fundraisers.
- In communities, can tailor vending contracts to limit the sale and marketing of unhealthy foods at parks, pools, etc.
Marketers’ target has been set on Latino kids. Now it’s up to individuals and groups to make sure our children see healthy food options, rather than unhealthy ones.
Be sure to check out the research package on health marketing and Latino kids by Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children. There you will find a fascinating animated video and colorful infographic that makes it easy to understand the issue and how it related to Latino kids.
The videos, which are also available in English, explore the latest research into how six critical topics—marketing, school snacks, sugary drinks, neighborhood food environments, active play and access to active spaces—impact Latino child health.
The videos also feature evidence-based recommendations on how to address the problem.
The child-narrated videos are part of a six new packages of research materials produced by Salud America!, a national research network on Latino childhood obesity that is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Each topic’s package contains: a research review, an assessment of all available scientific evidence on the topic; an issue brief, a short summary of the research review; an animated video narrated by Latino children; and an infographic, a visual summary of the topic.
Materials are available for download here.
Spanish-language fast-food advertising to Hispanic preschoolers increased by 16%, according to Fast Food FACTS 2013. The report, by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, examines the nutritional quality of fast food and how 18 top chain restaurants market their foods and drinks to kids.
In 2012 the fast food industry spent $4.6 billion to advertise mostly unhealthy products, and children and teens remained key audiences for that advertising.
The report highlights a few positive developments, such as healthier sides and drinks in most restaurants’ kids’ meals, but also shows that restaurants still have a long way to go to promote only healthier fast-food options to kids.
“There were some improvements, but they have been small, and the pace too slow,” said Marlene Schwartz, Rudd Center director. “Without more significant changes, we are unlikely to see meaningful reductions in unhealthy fast food consumption by young people.”
Key overall findings include:
- Children ages 6 to 11 saw 10% fewer TV ads for fast food, but children and teens continued to see three to five fast food ads on TV every day;
- Healthier kids’ meals were advertised by a few restaurants, but they represent only one-quarter of fast-food ads viewed by children; and
- Less than 1% of kids’ meals combinations at restaurants meet nutrition standards recommended by experts, and just 3% meet the industry’s own Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and Kids LiveWell nutrition standards;
Among Latinos, kids are a particularly attractive target to food marketers because of their increasing population size, spending power and media exposure.
Digital marketers in particular are savvy about using music, Latino spokespeople and other means to link cultural values and beliefs with certain food brands and products—the new report shows that fast food marketing via mobile devices and social media has grown exponentially from 2010.
“The marketing of unhealthy food concerns the Latino community because nearly 40% of Latino youths are overweight or obese,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national Latino childhood obesity research network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Everyone wants their kids to live long and healthy lives, and we know that being overweight or obese children are at greater risk for serious health problems.”
View the full report here.
…research build a case for addressing Latino childhood obesity? (Pg 1)
…a Latina get more Latinos into national parks for culture, physical activity? (Pg 3)
…schools give kids healthier choices during and after class? (Pg 5)
Find out in the latest Salud America! E-newsletter.
Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program aims to unite and increase the number of Latino stakeholders engaged in community change and research on environmental and policy solutions to the epidemic. The network is directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Don’t forget to share your “healthy change” stories with Salud America!, which can write up your story, possibly film it, and help you get a national audience for your work.
For more info, go here.
Sugary drink consumption contributes to increased rates of obesity and diabetes, studies show.
Raising the price of sugary drinks could reduce consumption among Latino kids, and potentially improve weight outcomes, according to a new package of research materials produced jointly by Salud America! and Bridging the Gap, two national research programs funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
The new Sugary Drinks & Latino Kids research materials start with an in-depth review of the latest science on sugary drink consumption by Latino kids and how pricing strategies could influence such consumption. The materials also provide policy implications based on that research.
Data shows that Latino kids have increased consumption of sugary drinks from 1991 to 2008.
By age 2, 74 percent of Latino kids have had a sugary drink (vs. 45 percent of White kids).
By high school, 22 percent of Latino kids have three or more sugary drinks a day (vs. 16% of White kids).
Strategies to alter sugary drink prices—such as sugary drink taxes, exclusion of sugary drinks from food assistance programs, and subsidization of healthier beverages—have been suggested to reduce sugary drink consumption.
“One study found that higher sugary drink prices were linked to lower body weight in school children, with a greater impact on Latino kids,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national network of stakeholders seeking research and environmental solutions to Latino obesity, based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
While projections about the effects of such a tax vary, much research concludes that a tax higher than current sales tax rates would have some impact on consumption of sugary drinks.
For instance, one study found that a penny-per-ounce tax (i.e., about a 20 percent price increase if fully passed on to consumers) would decrease sugary drink consumption by up to 24 percent, which, researchers predict, would decrease obesity and diabetes rates.
“It is important for public health to limit the amount of added sugar consumed by Latino youths, given the impact of this added sugar on obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and cardiovascular disease now and into the future,” said Dr. Frank Chaloupka, distinguished professor of economics and public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and project director for Bridging the Gap.
The new research package is the sixth 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.
Check out this cool new animated video on the science behind the consumption of sugary beverages among Latino kids.
The video, which is part of a new Salud America! “Sugary Drinks and Latino Kids” package of research, which also contains a research review, issue brief and infographic, can be found here.
Latino kids consume an above-average amount of sugary drinks (74% have had a sugary drink by age 2!).
Raising the price of sugary drinks could reduce consumption among Latino kids, and potentially improve weight outcomes, according to research.
What’s the impact of pricing on sugary drink consumption among Latino kids?
Check out this cool infographic that indicates that higher sugary drink prices were linked to lower body weight in school kids, with a greater impact on Latino students, according to research.
The infographic is part of a new Salud America! “Sugary Drinks and Latino Kids” package of research, which also contains a research review, issue brief and animated video. All materials can be found here.
9/20/13: Watch Live Stream of Childhood Obesity Summit With Olympic Figure Skater Michelle Kwan, Researcher Amelie Ramirez, Others0
Washington Post Live will host a Childhood Obesity Summit on Sept. 20, 2013, featuring these and other exciting leaders in the movement who will offer fresh perspectives on strategies for reversing the epidemic and recent signs of progress.
There are a few ways you can take part:
- Apply here to attend in person in Washington, D.C.
- Watch a livestream of the event.
- Converse on Twitter using the hashtag #childhoodobesity.
Other scheduled speakers include Regina Benjamin, the 18th Surgeon General of the United States; Yael Lehmann, executive director of The Food Trust; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; which is also sponsoring the event).
Discussions will center on strategies to reduce obesity that are proving to be successful, including changes to school meals programs, efforts to improve access to healthy food in underserved communities and opportunities to encourage physical activity throughout the school day.
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America!, an RWJF-funded research network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will discuss what’s working to improve healthy lifestyles in Latino-centric regions across the country.
Dr. Ramirez’ Twitter handle is @SaludToday.
A recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that found that both parents and physicians in the Latino migrant farm-worker community of Immokalee, Fla., were not as concerned with their children being overweight as they were children who were obese.
The study suggested the need for programs that facilitate Latino parents’ interest and action to improve their children’s health.
Who is rising to meet the need?
The author of the study, Dr. Javier Rosado.
Rosado—who conducted the research as grantee of Salud America!, a Latino childhood obesity research network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio—has galvanized a team of medical experts, nutrition educators, soccer and Zumba instructors to create “Salud Immokalee,” a yearlong multidisciplinary program, naplesnews.com reports.
Salud Immokalee aims to help parents and their kids make healthier lifestyle choices.
To encourage healthier behavior, the program’s parents and kids get 18 weeks of classroom instruction and hands-on learning built around three essential elements: nutrition, physical activity and behavior, according to the news report.
Rosado is excited to be able to turn his research into a program that is helping migrant farm workers.
“That is why community-based research is so powerful,” Rosado, an assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine and psychologist at Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, told naplesnews.com. “You don’t have to wait years to put findings into action.”
Learn more about Dr. Rosado’s Salud America! research here.
At Salud America!, a national Latino childhood obesity research network, we can:
- Interview you
- Write your story into a professional case study
- Possibly film your story
Then we’ll promote your story on our national platform to inspire others to improve Latino child health in their areas.
You can also use the story in your own networks.
Best part? It’s no cost to you!
Just see what we did for the folks in Alice, Texas, who teamed up to open some school facilities up to the public for physical activity after school hours.
Just email us at email@example.com or call 210-562-6528 to start.
Find more info here.
Salud America!, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind the SaludToday social media campaign. Find more info at www.salud-america.org.