Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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Exposure to Marketing

Food companies continue to target children and teens with traditional forms of marketing, such as television advertising and promotions on product packages. However, food marketing today encompasses a myriad of new techniques that did not exist ten years ago. Companies market to children and teens through branded youth-targeted entertainment websites; advertisements on other popular children’s websites (such as Nickelodeon.com, Disney.com); social media (especially YouTube and Facebook); product placements in popular television programs, movies and video games; games and other apps for mobile phones and iPads; and even in schools. Food companies have found engaging and creative ways to advertise their products almost everywhere young people spend their time. Parents find it increasingly difficult to monitor and shield their children from the abundance of marketing for low-nutrient, calorie-dense products that appeal to them in fun, cool and interactive ways. 

The Rudd Center Food Advertising to Children and Teens (FACTS) reports document young people’s exposure to a wide variety of marketing for specific product categories, evaluate the messages and interactive content commonly used, and identify marketing practices specifically targeted to children, teens, and black and Hispanic youth. These websites provide copies of the full reports and executive summaries, and tools for parents and child health advocates.

Cereal FACTS Fast Food FACTS Sugary Drink FACTS

Related research:

Additional research and resources

Analyses of child and adolescent exposure to common forms of food marketing: