Obesity and diabetes pose significant and costly threats to public health in the United States. Food and beverage marketing has been identified as a major driver of obesity and diabetes, with the majority of advertisements promoting sugary beverages and energy-dense, nutrient-poor food products. Studies show children exposed to food advertisements are more likely to request the advertised food, express preference for the advertised food, and consume more food. Adolescents also represent a key target for marketers because of their buying power and influence over parent purchases. African American and Hispanic adolescents are especially highly targeted consumers because they are perceived by marketers to be cultural trendsetters. Adolescents are exposed to food and beverage advertisements through traditional forms of media, and increasingly, through digital media and social networking websites. To assess how exposure to racially-targeted food and beverage advertisements affects adolescents' food choices and perceptions of products, this study will examine adolescents' ratings of advertisements and featured products, and how exposure to advertisements affects dietary choices. Data collection will occur online through Survey Sampling International's database of participants (Aim 1 and 2, outcomes are ratings of advertisements and willingness to engage in marketing promotions) and through community organizations that serve adolescents (Aim 3, outcomes are advertising ratings and actual food choices). Subjects will be male and female adolescents ages 12-17 years who identify as African American, Hispanic, or White, and a subset of the participants will speak Spanish and English. These data will capture how racially-targeted advertisements affect adolescents' food and beverage choices and perceptions of food and beverage products.
Obesity is one of the most complex and costly public health problems in the United States, and food marketing has been identified as a significant driver of obesity. This project will examine the impact of racially-targeted food and beverage advertisements on the dietary choices and food and beverage product perceptions of adolescents ages 12-17 years.
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