Interactive food & beverage marketing: Targeting children and youth in the digital age -- brief report

This report by Jeff Chester from the Center for Digital Democracy and Kathryn Montgomery from American University describes new marketing practices that are fundamentally transforming how food and beverage companies do business with young people in the twenty-first century. See additional examples, news coverage, and statements from Marion Nestle, Kelly Brownell, the Strategic Alliance, Senator Tom Harkin, and Congressman Edward J. Markey at View the full report.

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Issue 16: Moving from head to heart: Using media advocacy to talk about affordable housing

This is the story of how a group of dedicated but frustrated affordable housing advocates learned to tell their story so it reflected their values and the values that resonated with policy makers. What they thought would be a simple refresher course in working with the media transformed their own understanding of affordable housing, how to talk about it, and, ultimately, what was done about it.

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The problem with obesity

Obesity has become the popular term for a set of problems that result in premature death and injury from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It is a convenient term, but we should stop using it. This framing brief explains why.

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Luchemos contra la promoción de alimentos chatarra entre los niños [pdf]

Las comunidades que se enfrentan a la obesidad se sienten frustradas por practicas de mercadotecnia que promueven alimentos y bebidas insalubres como opciones atractivas, disponibles, y asequibles. Pero partidarios de estas comunidades pueden luchar con éxito contra estas practicas. Esta conjunto de herramientas contiene ejemplos y historias que estas comunidades pueden utilizar para reducir la mercadotecnia y promoción desagradables. Tambien disponible en Inglés.

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Fighting junk food marketing to kids: A toolkit for advocates [pdf]

Communities confronting obesity are frustrated by the corporate marketing practices that make unhealthy foods and beverages attractive, easily available and readily affordable. But local advocates are not powerless to do something about this issue. This toolkit provides examples and stories of what local communities can do to limit the reach of unwanted marketing and promotion. Also available in Spanish.

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Video: Fighting junk food marketing to kids

Food and beverage corporations' marketing practices go far beyond TV advertising. This video illustrates the extent of the problem and what local groups can do about it. Contact us for a DVD version. Also available in Spanish.

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Video: Luchemos contra la promocin de alimentos chatarra entre los niños

La mercadotecnia de las industrias de alimentos y bebidas insalubres no se cumple con los anuncios de televisión. Este video demuestra el alcance del problema, y presenta soluciones para partidarios de comunidades. Póngase en contacto con BMSG para obtener un DVD. Tambien disponible en Inglés.

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Framing the economic benefits of investments in early childhood development

The early childhood development (ECD) field has been energized by a chorus of new voices from outside its ranks: economists. Their arguments reinforce what those in the ECD field have known for some time: that benefits from quality ECD programs accrue not only to individual children and families, but also to society as a whole. But explaining that to those outside the field has not been easy. This paper aims to make that job easier.

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More than a message: Framing public health advocacy to change corporate practices

Framing battles in public health illustrate the tension in our society between individual freedom and collective responsibility. This article describes how two frames, market justice and social justice, first articulated in a public health context by Dan Beauchamp, influence public dialogue on the health consequences of corporate practices. It also offers lessons for health education practitioners who need to frame public health issues in contentious and controversial policy contexts.

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Accelerating policy on nutrition: Lessons from tobacco, alcohol, firearms, and traffic safety [pdf]

Public health advocates in tobacco, alcohol, firearms, and traffic safety struggled for years before understanding that individual approaches alone won't suffice and that environmental (or policy) approaches to prevention had to be part of the mix. This report looks at how public health got to the point of pushing policy in other arenas so that public health funders, researchers, and practitioners might adapt and apply those lessons to preventing and reducing obesity.

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Meta messaging framing your case and reinforcing your allies

Advocates working on issues as different as gay marriage and affordable housing can construct messages that serve their own immediate strategic needs and, at the same time, echo one another's larger goals for social change. This memo explains why we think that's possible and how to do it.

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Issue 15: Obesity crisis or soda scapegoat? The debate over selling soda in schools

In 1999 a Venice High School student asked a simple question: Can the school sell 100% fruit juice in its vending machines? No, said the school -- our soda contract forbids it. The ensuing battle led the Los Angeles School Board to ban the sale of soda on its campuses. In Issue 15, we dissect the debate in news coverage of the soda sales bans and find that by acknowledging the complexity of the obesity crises, supporters of the soda sales bans may be undermining their own arguments.

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Auto hazard control: Lessons for addressing obesity from the history of auto hazard control

Death and injury from motor vehicle crashes had reached epidemic levels by the 1950s and continues at unacceptably high levels today. The lessons learned in failed and successful attempts to reduce auto crash losses can provide guideposts for obesity control efforts.

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Accelerating policy on nutrition: Lessons from tobacco, alcohol, firearms and traffic safety -- preliminary report [pdf]

This preliminary report captures advice from a meeting that uncovered practical experience from specific policy battles in tobacco, alcohol, firearms, and traffic safety to help public health funders and practitioners identify how to speed up progress on obesity. These lessons are integrated into the final report. The appendix outlines the components of an infrastructure to support policy advocacy to prevent and reduce obesity.

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Alcohol: Lessons for addressing obesity from the history of alcohol control

Alcohol policy work has a number of important similarities to nutrition and fitness policy. Looking back at its successes and challenges holds important lessons for advocates wanting to shape policy on childhood obesity.

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Guns: Lessons for addressing obesity from a public health approach to gun violence

This memorandum reviews the history of the public health approach to gun violence prevention, with a focus on certain aspects of firearm policy-making in the United States, to determine what lessons from those experiences may relate to policy changes regarding nutrition and obesity.

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Obesity: Environmental strategies for preventing childhood obesity

Childhood overweight and physical inactivity have reached epidemic levels in the United States, and they are taking a terrible toll on health. This memo explores the prevalence of the problem, its causes and implications, and some of the issues that are blocking the development of a strong consumer-based movement aimed at prevention.

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Tobacco: Lessons for addressing obesity from the history of tobacco control

Understanding the shift in tobacco control from primarily behavioral approaches toward policy approaches can provide insight into a winning strategy that can be applied to obesity prevention.

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Accelerating policy on nutrition: Lessons from tobacco, alcohol, firearms and traffic safety -- appendix [pdf]

This appendix to the preliminary report outlines the components of an infrastructure to support policy advocacy to prevent and reduce obesity: policy advocacy support, bridging, and media advocacy. It also describes 20 research questions for accelerating progress on obesity.

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Making the case for early care and education: A message development guide for advocates [pdf]

We wrote this handbook to help the national child care community communicate effectively with journalists and others. The guide summarizes public opinion and media research on child care and provides a menu of tested messages for advocates. It is modeled after a similar document created in the 1980s by the Advocacy Institute to assist tobacco-control advocates. The appendix contains a report from Ethel Klein, who conducted the public opinion research BMSG commissioned for the message guide.

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Mobilizing support for child care: Five key messages [pdf]

This appendix to Making the Case for Early Care and Education: A Message Development Guide for Advocates contains a report from Ethel Klein of EDK Associates in New York, who conducted the public opinion research BMSG commissioned for the message guide.

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Issue 14: Making the case for paid family leave: How California's landmark law was framed in the news

On September 24, 2002, California made history as the first state in the nation to enact paid family leave. Issue 14 shows how the battle for paid family leave was framed by opponents and proponents in California and national news coverage. It also provides insights for both advocates and journalists as paid family leave moves into implementation in California and onto the public agenda in other states across the nation.

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Food and beverage industry marketing practices aimed at children: Developing strategies for preventing obesity and diabetes [pdf]

Public health professionals working to prevent childhood obesity want to know the best avenues of addressing food and beverage marketing aimed at children. This report looks at the relationship between the way foods and beverages are marketed to children and the rising trends in childhood overweight and explores strategies that might engage the food and beverage industry in reducing the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.

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Bucking tobacco sponsorship at rodeos: Strategies for media advocacy and public engagement [pdf]

This report offers a media advocacy plan to counter the aggressive marketing by the tobacco industry at family sporting events. It aims to shift the focus from current arguments that frame tobacco marketing as a children's issue back to an issue of irresponsible industry marketing.

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Issue 13: Distracted by drama: How California newspapers portray intimate partner violence

Battered women's advocates and feminist scholars have long complained about how intimate partner violence appears in the news. But because the evidence has been anecdotal, the extent that U.S. news media downplay violence against women has been difficult to gauge. Do most news stories blame the victim? Do they mitigate the perpetrator? Overall, how is intimate partner violence depicted in newspapers? We decided to find out by examining a year's worth of articles in two major newspapers.

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