Publications

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Peeking behind the curtain: Food and marketing industry research supporting digital media marketing to children and adolescents [pdf]

Everywhere children and youth go, marketing follows them, touting foods and drinks they would be much better off avoiding. This report illuminates the latest developments in the digital media marketplace and what it means for the health of young people.

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Issue 19: Case by case: News coverage of child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse is a tough and sensitive topic to discuss and to write about. In this Issue, we examine how child sexual abuse is portrayed in the news. We ask: How do journalists cover child sexual abuse, especially in the absence of a prominent case? Do sensationalist stories focusing on the "stranger danger" misconception dominate news coverage? Is preventing child sexual abuse discussed? We then use our findings to make specific recommendations for advocates and reporters.

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Food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents: An environment at odds with good health

The science is clear: The environments where children grow up, play and go to school affect their diets and health. In this research brief, prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Eating Research program, we show how children in the United States grow up in environments saturated by food and beverage marketing, the bulk of it for foods low in nutrients and high in calories, sugars, salt and fat.

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Food marketing in the digital age: A conceptual framework and agenda for research [pdf]

Digital techniques are quickly evolving and unprecedentedly immersive. To assess the best ways to understand these new media effects, we convened a group of scholars to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the impact of the digital practices on food and beverage consumption among children and youth and a research agenda to guide future studies of that impact.

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Webinar: Strategies to increase breastfeeding in your county

This webinar, hosted by the Family Health Outcomes Project at the University of California, San Francisco, highlights ways to encourage breastfeeding at multiple levels -- individual, community and policy. BMSG's Heather Gehlert discusses how to frame the issue in ways that maximize support for it. The recording, slides and other resources are all available at http://fhop.ucsf.edu/fhop/htm/prods/IPinformational.htm.

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Webinar: Target marketing of junk foods to communities of color

This webinar, featuring American University's Dr. Sonya Grier and Chicago State University's Kwesi Ronald Harris, explores how the target marketing of junk food and beverages disproportionately affects communities of color, exposes some of the more insidious practices, and discusses community efforts to fight back.

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Making the case for prevention: Basic messages for health departments

At BMSG, we work to help advocates make the case for systems and structures that will improve health. This document is designed to help health departments better explain their goals and rationale for prevention. It's a starting point to use for tailoring messages for the media, policy makers and community leaders.

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Video: Digital food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents

Food and beverage marketing influences what products kids ask for, what they end up consuming and what eating habits they carry with them into adulthood. In this interview, BMSG director Lori Dorfman discusses new tactics this industry uses to target youth online and explains how these strategies are different from more traditional forms of marketing.

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Target marketing soda & fast food: Problems with business as usual
Target marketing soda & fast food: Problems with business as usual

One of the main goals of fast food and soda marketing is to make you to feel special, like the product is just for you. We reveal the tactics they use to do so in this marketing brief, part of a series on target marketing that BMSG is developing for the national capacity-building initiative Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE). Also available in Spanish.

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The soda and fast food industries target their marketing towards mothers of color

Target marketing allows the fast food and soda industries to promote their products among certain groups. This marketing brief, the second part of a series BMSG is developing for the national capacity-building initiative Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE), shows how those industries are focusing on African-American and Latino moms and why this is a problem. Also available in Spanish.

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La mercadotecnia dirigida de la soda y comida rápida: Problemas con el negocio como de costumbre

Una de las metas de la mercadotecnia de la soda y comida rápida es hacer que el consumador se sienta como si el producto sea hecho especialmente para si mismo. Revelamos las tácticas que se usan para hacerlo en este documento sobre la mercadotecnia, parte de una serie desarrollada por BMSG para la iniciativa para crear capacidad nacional Comunidades Creando Ambientes Sanos. Tambien disponible en Inglés.

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La mercadotecnia dirigida a madres de color

La mercadotecnia dirigida permite que las industrias de la soda y comida rápida les promuevan sus productos a grupos específicos. En este documento de mercadotecnia, parte de una serie desarrollada por BMSG para la iniciativa para crear capacidad nacional Comunidades Creando Ambientes Sanos, demostramos como estas industrias dirigen la mercadotecnia hacia madres de comunidades latinas y afroamericanas, y los problemas que resultan de esta practica. Tambien disponible en Inglés.

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Talking about: Healthier beverage environments

What we drink is directly related to what beverages are -- or are not -- sold in our communities. Water is the healthiest beverage, but many places, including schools, either don't offer it or don't have a safe supply, leaving people to reach for sodas or other sugary beverages instead. We can change this. Part Five of BMSG's "Talking About" series explains how.

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Talking about: The retail food environment

How well we eat depends in large part on whether healthy food is affordable and readily available in our communities. That's the message of this brief, the fourth part of BMSG's "Talking About" series, which shows advocates how their messages can help improve the conditions that shape our health.

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Talking about: Joint use

Joint use, the sharing of school and community resources like parks, playgrounds and gyms, can increase opportunities for adults and children to be active. Find out how it works and what makes joint use successful in Part Three of BMSG's "Talking About" series.

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Talking about: The walkable community

Walkable communities are those that have enough park space, safe streets and well maintained, well lit walking paths for people to be active at any time of day. Part Two in BMSG's six-part "Talking About" series, this overview of walkable communities shows why they matter and what advocates can do to help make them a reality in their own communities.

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Talking about: The built environment and health

The way a community is designed affects how healthy its residents can become by making it easier or harder to eat well and be active. This resource, Part One in a six-part series, shows advocates how the language they use can help make positive changes to the places they live, work, eat and play.

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Webinar: Talking about healthy people in healthy places: Linking values to policy and environmental change

Developing broad-based policy and environmental change to foster healthy places and people requires effective communication about the importance of healthy, equitable communities. Webinar panelists Lori Dorfman of BMSG and Phil Steger of ISAIAH discuss framing and other communication strategies to help advance this reality. 

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Making the case for breastfeeding: The health argument isn't enough

Breastfeeding can improve women's and babies' health, but simply trumpeting that message won't improve breastfeeding rates. That's because many social and cultural barriers make it difficult or undesirable for women to breastfeed. This framing brief shows advocates the key ingredients they need to produce effective breastfeeding messages that promote policies in support of this very basic but vital act.

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Website: jointuse.org

This site explores a public health strategy called joint use, which increases opportunities for children and adults to be physically active by allowing schools and communities to share resources like parks, swimming pools and playgrounds. Visit jointuse.org to watch videos of joint use success stories, view PhotoVoice photo essays by youth documenting barriers to physical activity, download fact sheets, research summaries and policy analyses, and find out how to jumpstart a joint use partnership in your own community.

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Recording: News conference on digital marketing and alcohol
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Issue 18: Talking about breastfeeding: Why the health argument isn't enough

Public health advocates have for years been trying to increase the number of women who breastfeed by educating mothers about its health benefits. Breast milk improves babies' immune systems and decreases women's risk of everything from osteoporosis to type-2 diabetes. Reporters have trumpeted advocates' message, yet breastfeeding rates remain dismally low. In this Issue, we explore what's missing from the conversation and show how advocates in California are shifting the conversation to include the factors outside of health that make it hard for even the most well-informed women to breastfeed.

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Alcohol marketing in the digital age [pdf]

New technologies are fundamentally altering the alcohol marketing landscape. Even as the "information superhighway" has given way to a web devoted largely to commerce, marketing is one of the least understood aspects of the new media culture. This report summarizes findings from a study we conducted with our colleagues at the Center for Digital Democracy to identify and analyze the emerging alcohol digital marketing practices and to assess the policy implications for both.

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Policy recommendations to the White House task force on obesity [pdf]

These comments were submitted on behalf of the California Convergence to the White House Interagency Task Force on Obesity to inform it's recommendations for the First Lady's Let's Move campaign to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation. The comments emphasize the policies across the four pillars of the Let's Move campaign that will create healthy food and activity environments, focusing on a multi-sector, community-based approach to inform progress.

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Video: Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles advances goals through media advocacy

After participating in media advocacy trainings from BMSG, the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles leveraged its newly acquired skills to voice opposition to Proposition 6, which threatened to increase the number of crimes for which 14-year-olds could be tried as adults. The group continues to practice media advocacy today.

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