Nutrition advocates may be able to use lessons from tobacco control to help government move faster toward protecting the public from harmful food and beverage company products and marketing practices, say the authors of a new study published today by the American Journal of Public Health.
Public health advocates say that Nickelodeon's practice of marketing unhealthy foods to kids runs afoul of the entertainment giant's claim that it is a responsible media business and have called on the company to stop advertising junk food to children.
Cereal companies, the third biggest food marketer to children, are using sophisticated digital techniques to target kids with unhealthy products and get them to engage with brands in ways not possible through television advertising, found a study from researchers at Berkeley Media Studies Group and the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. The techniques include tracking children's online behavior and creating interactive ads disguised as entertainment.
Public health advocates need to organize strong campaigns to educate the public and policymakers about the dangers of both sugary beverages and the misleading industry corporate social responsibility campaigns that distract from their products' health risks, according to experts from BMSG and Public Health Advocacy Institute. In a Policy Forum article, authors examined prominent campaigns from PepsiCo and Coca-Cola that they say are similar to Big Tobacco campaigns in their attempts to place responsibility for their products' health harms on consumers (rather than corporations), boost popularity, and prevent regulation.
Nestle claims it doesn't market candy to children, but health advocates say a new line of Girl Scout-themed Crunch candy bars violates the company's pledge. The limited-edition candy bars bear the familiar Girl Scouts logo and evoke three popular Girl Scout Cookie flavors. A key difference between the candy bars and cookies is that the new candy bars have more calories, more saturated fat, and more sugars, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI's Margo Wootan and BMSG's Lori Dorfman have urged the company to stop marketing unhealthy foods featuring the Girl Scout's name and logo and refrain from similar marketing approaches in the future.
New research has found that the U.S. government and schools have made mixed progress to address food and beverage marketing practices that put young people's health at risk. A comprehensive review published in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that public sector stakeholders have failed to fully implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to support a healthful diet to children and adolescents. In a commentary accompanying the article, BMSG's Lori Dorfman notes that the food and beverage industry spends more than $5 million every day marketing foods high in fat, sugar and salt to youth.
A new report today praised early media coverage of the Penn State University child sexual abuse crisis for its broader perspective and precise language but criticized its failure to address solutions for prevention. The report, released by the Ms. Foundation for Women and the Berkeley Media Studies Group, recognized the media for its ability to tell an institutional story about university officials' failure to report and end abuse after they learned of it. However, the coverage fell short in examining what preliminary measures should have been taken to prevent the abuse from occurring and what steps are being taken now to prevent future abuse.
Tens of thousands of children are sexually abused each year in the United States, yet news coverage of the subject is out of sync with both the magnitude of the issue and the context in which it occurs. This finding comes from a study released this month from Berkeley Media Studies Group. The report, Case by case: News coverage of child sexual abuse, examined national news stories on child sexual abuse published between 2007 and 2009, and found several troubling patterns emerge in the coverage.
Alcohol companies are using the latest new media technologies to promote their products using methods that appeal to youth, explains a new report released today from the Center for Digital Democracy and Berkeley Media Studies Group of the Public Health Institute. Alcohol Marketing in the Digital Age details how beer and alcohol companies are targeting consumers through social media, online video, mobile phone applications, and virtual online communities.
Food and beverage companies are using the latest digital media technologies to promote their products to children and adolescents, according to a report released today at the National Press Club by the Berkeley Media Studies Group and the Center for Digital Democracy. The report documents in vivid detail how major food, soft drink and fast food brands are deploying a panoply of new techniques to target children and adolescents, often under the radar of parents.