Black and Hispanic youth are exposed to more food advertising in the media and their communities compared to White youth. Furthermore, food companies target Black and Hispanic youth with advertising for their least healthy products, including candy, fast food, sugary drinks and snacks. This marketing contributes to health disparities affecting youth in communities of color.
Learn More About Targeted Marketing
Targeted Marketing Research
- Harris J, Sacco S, Fleming-Milici F. TV exposure, attitudes about targeted food ads and brands, and unhealthy consumption by adolescents: Modeling a hierarchical relationship. Appetite. 2022, ISSN 0195-6663.
- Harris, J.L. (2020). Targeted food marketing to Black and Hispanic consumers: The Tobacco Playbook. American Journal of Public Health, 110(3), 271-272.
- Fleming-Milici F, Harris JL. (2019). Adolescents’ engagement with unhealthy food and beverage brands on social media. Appetite. 2020;146:104501.
- Increasing Disparities in Unhealthy Food Advertising Targeted to Black and Hispanic Youth, Rudd Report. January 2019.
- Food advertising targeted to Hispanic and Black youth: Contributing to health disparities. Rudd Report. August 2015.
- Each FACTS Report includes a detailed section on marketing to Black and Hispanic youth for the category (including cereals, sugary drinks, fast food and snacks).
- Harris J.L., Frazier W., Fleming-Milici F., Hubert P., Rodriguez-Arauz G., Grier S., Appiah O. (2019). A qualitative assessment of US Black and Latino adolescents' attitudes about targeted marketing of unhealthy food and beverages. Journal of Children and Media, 1-22
- Fleming-Milici, F. & Harris, J.L. (2018). Television food advertising viewed by preschoolers, children and adolescents: contributors to differences in exposure for black and white youth in the United States. Pediatric Obesity, 13, 103-110.
- Hyary, M. & Harris, J.L. (2018). Hispanic youth visits to food and beverage company websites. Health Equity, 1(1), 134-138.
- Fleming-Milici, F., Harris, J.L., Sarda, V., & Schwartz, M.B. (2013). Amount of Hispanic youth exposure to food and beverage advertising on Spanish- and English-language television. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(8), 723-730.
Marketing to Adolescents Research
- Harris, J.L., Yokum, S., & Fleming-Milici, F. (2020). Hooked on junk: Emerging evidence on how food marketing affects adolescents’ diets and long-term health. Current Addiction Reports, in press.
- Harris, J.L., Heard A., Schwartz M.B. (2014). Older but still vulnerable: All children need protection from unhealthy food marketing. Rudd Brief.
Increasing Disparities in Unhealthy Food Advertising Targeted to Black and Hispanic Youth:
Rudd Summary: Food Advertising Targeted to Black Youth:
Rudd Summary: Food Advertising Targeted to Hispanic Youth:
Examples of Marketing Campaigns Targeted to Black and Hispanic Youth:
Food Marketing Video Series: Food Marketing to Teens:
Youth-Led Advocacy Campaigns
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
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.
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.
Want to learn how you can make a difference? Check out ChangeLab Solutions’ Pathways to Policy Playbook: a step-by-step guide for young people who want to change the world.
Teens in Howard County, Maryland step up and take a stand for better drink choices in their #BevRev social media campaign on YouTube
Activity - Use these discussion questions to start the conversation about food and beverage marketing.