Thursday, August 13, 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Food and beverage companies have identified Black and Latino youth and families as strategic markets for business growth and extensively advertise selected brands in media targeted to these audiences. In addition, community-level food marketing, including outdoor signage, school-based marketing, and sponsorships, is more prevalent in low-income and minority communities. Some targeted marketing strategies support Latino and Black culture, and others may provide employment, other economic benefits or scholarships and youth opportunities valued by community members. Unfortunately, previous research demonstrates that the majority of food and beverage marketing targeted to Black and Latino communities promotes nutritionally poor products, primarily fast food and sugary drinks. Thus, the current patterns of targeted food marketing likely contribute to or exacerbate the higher than average rates of obesity and other diet-related diseases in these communities. To address this problem, public health researchers are exploring ways to utilize targeted marketing strategies to generate community-level action to improve local food environments in Black and Latino communities. New social marketing campaigns encourage grassroots action in these communities to create an environment that supports young people’s health. In this panel, speakers will present new research documenting food and beverage advertising targeted to Black and Latino youth and families; present workshop findings that identify key considerations in the design of social marketing campaigns targeting Black Americans to effectively encourage actions to achieve healthy weight in their communities; and describe Salud America! Growing Healthy Change, a national online network and social marketing campaign dedicated to solving Latino childhood obesity.
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