Food Marketing to Teens


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Do you ever wonder how food and drink companies decide what products they market to teens? To get a closer look at why teens see so many ads for some kinds of foods and not others, check out this video:

Others teens are making a difference! Will YOU?
  • Teens in Howard County, Maryland step up and take a stand for better drink choices in their #BevRev social media campaign, on Instagram and YouTube
  • The Open Truth campaign, led by San Francisco Bay Area youth, shows teens how sugary drinks are making them sick; how Big Soda targets those most at risk; and how teens can raise their voice for change, see more on Instagram
  • The Youth Food Educators (YOFE) program of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute trains youth to take a stand against predatory and unhealthy marketing by training them to develop campaigns and deliver messages to their peers and community about unhealthy, predatory marketing. To see YOFE’s curriculum guide, click here. Visit here for more information about YOFE.
  • Grow Hartford supports youth food justice leaders in Hartford, CT and beyond. Their work focuses on the systemic causes of the issues high school students face each day. They use food as the anchor point to teach and advocate against social injustices.
Other resources
Berkeley Media Studies Group
ChangeLab Solutions Pathways to Policy Playbook
Food Marketing Workgroup
Rudd Center report: Food advertising targeted to Hispanic and Black youth: Contributing to health disparities
Contact UConn Rudd Center Food Marketing:
If you have any questions and/or suggestions, contact Sally Mancini, Director of Advocacy Resources at We are interested in learning how you used the video.



"The 'Introduction to Food Marketing to Youth' video is a great resource that provides information about predatory marketing and how it impacts the dietary intake of youth and children. It shines light on the harmful and manipulative tactics the food industry uses to make lifelong customers out of children and influence them to pester their parents into buying unhealthy products. In addition, the video also offers useful strategies that parents can implement to limit the unhealthy food marketing their children are exposed to.

Food marketers say that they want to help parents raise healthy children, but as mentioned in the video, nearly 2 billion dollars is spent on advertising to children, and 9/10 ads children see are junk food ads. How contradictory! I am looking forward to the day when food companies are held accountable for their unhealthy marketing, and adopt marketing strategies that truly support healthy children. Thank you UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity for spreading awareness on this issue."

Charita Johnson, Youth Food Educators (YOFE)


Last updated September 11, 2018