Food Marketing targeted to kids: A collaborative and policy-oriented study in Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru
The global rise of childhood obesity has been dramatic. Overweight and obesity conditions in children negatively affect their progressive physical development and are a predisposing risk factor for non-communicable diseases. The prevalence of childhood obesity varies globally, regionally and between genders and vulnerable groups. Increasing rates of overweight and obesity in children have been documented in many countries of Latin American. One recognized key factor contributing to an obesity-promoting environment is food advertising targeting children. Children’s exposure to targeted food and beverage advertisements has increased both in scope and frequency, as traditional channels of delivery, such as radio and television, have been supplemented by tailored, targeted advertising on various media via the internet.
This project aims to strengthen efforts in Latin America to curb marketing of unhealthy food marketing targeting children with a focus on Argentina, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Peru. The research will build understanding of factors that positively or negatively influence children’s food consumption patterns, including their susceptibility to food marketing. An improved understanding of protective and risk factors will inform the design of policies and interventions to empower youth to improve their food consumption and better interpret food marketing. The combined effect of consumer empowerment and policy enhancement will help to address a major determinant of overweight and obesity in adolescents in Latin America.