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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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 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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Attention, Walmart shoppers: Healthy snacks in aisles 7 and 21

Middle-schoolers in the Northern California town of Anderson were fed up with the amount of junk food in the check-out stands of their local grocery stores, mini-mart and gas stations. In this case study, we show how the youth, with guidance from the Healthy Eating Active Communities initiative, became savvy about the effects of such junk on their health and took action to make healthy foods and beverages more visible in their community.

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Nutrition content of food and beverage products on websites popular with children [pdf]

Findings from a BMSG study of 28 websites popular with children point to the likelihood that the food and beverage products advertised on the web are ones that kids should avoid.

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Sugar water gets a facelift: What marketing does for soda

This framing brief describes the intensive, immersive, incessant marketing tactics soda companies are using to encourage young people to drink more of America's top non-alcoholic beverage.

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Podcast: News frames of health issues

BMSG Director Lori Dorfman talks to Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, about how the news frames public health issues. Knowing how a particular issue is portrayed in the media allows advocates to anticipate their opposition's arguments and gives them a starting point for having conversations with policymakers about potential solutions.

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Podcast: The eyeballs have moved: Food marketing to children and youth in the digital age

BMSG Director Lori Dorfman talks to Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, about marketing to children and youth in the digital age. Dorfman describes how marketers use online technology to target ads more precisely and for less money than traditional marketing.

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Moving from them to us: Challenges in reframing violence among youth

This report explores how youth and violence have been framed in the news, how the issue of race complicates depictions of youth and violence, and how public attitudes about government can inhibit public support for violence prevention. It also includes recommended next steps for reframing violence among youth for UNITY, a national effort addressing the root causes of violence. The Appendix describes the methods for the literature review of research on news coverage included in the paper.

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Moving from them to us: Challenges in reframing violence among youth -- appendix [pdf]

This appendix contains details on the methods for the literature review BMSG conducted to update the 2001 report from Building Blocks for Youth, Off Balance: Youth, Race, and Crime in the News. After sifting through hundreds of research studies that touched on either youth, race, or crime, we found 37 that were directly relevant to this inquiry. Most upheld the original findings from Off Balance, indicating that news coverage continues to distort youth, race, and crime.

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Promoting physical activity and healthy eating: Convergence in framing the role of industry [pdf]

This commentary addresses a little explored aspect of prevention, namely, how public health practitioners conceptualize the roles of industries whose business interests may be at odds with physical activity and eating nutrient-rich foods. Many public health advocates have framed obesity as a battle with the food industry, which can alienate potential fitness industry partners. Creating healthy environments requires reframing expectations of all industries that influence physical activity and inactivity.

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