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Media Characters as Spokespeople in U.S. Grocery Stores: Promoting Poor Nutritional Messages to Children | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7904

Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
Open Access

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Research Article

Media Characters as Spokespeople in U.S. Grocery Stores: Promoting Poor Nutritional Messages to Children

Dan P Galloway1* and Sandra L Calvert2
1Children’s Digital Media Center, Georgetown University, USA
2Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, USA
Corresponding Author : Dan P Galloway
Children’s Digital Media Center, Georgetown University
313 White Gravenor Hall Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057, USA
Tel: +1-315-559-6618
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 18, 2014; Accepted February 19, 2014; Published February 21, 2014
Citation: Galloway DP, Calvert SL (2014) Media Characters as Spokespeople in U.S. Grocery Stores: Promoting Poor Nutritional Messages to Children. J Obes Weight Loss Ther 4:212. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000212
Copyright: © 2014 Galloway DP, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Childhood obesity has become a global epidemic. Previous research has shown that exposure to media and advertising plays a role in childhood obesity and that most of the food marketing directed at children is for unhealthy products. This study examines the role that media characters, a prominent and potentially powerful tool in marketing, play in child-directed advertising in grocery stores. It also evaluates current industry-based efforts to regulate the landscape of child-directed advertising. Using the Go, Slow, Whoa nutritional rating system from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, characters in a conventional grocery store and a health-food store were found primarily on the packages of unhealthy products. The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a coalition of corporations that pledged to market healthier products to children, generally failed to improve the character landscape and, in fact, signatory companies marketed more unhealthy foods using characters than non-participants did.

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