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August 13, 2008

Interactive Food & Beverage Marketing: Targeting Children and Youth in the Digital Age

Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) has recently released a report on digital marketing to children.  Here's the blurb:

"The Proliferation of the media in children's lives has created a new "marketing ecosystem" that encompasses cell phones, mobile music devices, instant messaging, videogames, and virtual three-dimensional worlds. 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.[download 8 page brief pdf] [download 98 page full report pdf] [see examples, news coverage, and statements from Marion Nestle, Kelly Brownell, the Strategic Alliance, Senator Tom Harkin, and Congressman Edward J. Markey at [digitalads.org]"

"Children in the U.S. are facing a growing health crisis due in part to poor nutrition. Youth who are significantly overweight are at much greater risk for experiencing a variety of serious medical conditions, including digestive disorders, heart and circulatory illnesses, respiratory problems, and Type 2 diabetes, a disease that used to strike only adults. They are also more prone to suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. An estimated 30 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls born in the United States are at risk for being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives. Minority youth populations have been disproportionately affected. For example, African American and Mexican American adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 are more likely to be overweight (at 21 percent and 23 percent, respectively) than are non-Hispanic White children in the same age group (14 percent). The Institute of Medicine has called on all sectors of society—industry, government, health professionals, communities, schools, and families—to address this health crisis."

August 13, 2008 in Children | Permalink


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