Food and beverage marketing influences the diets and health of children and adolescents. In 2019, fast-food restaurants spent $5 billion in total advertising to children. Black and Hispanic youth are disproportionally targeted by unhealthy food and beverage advertising compared to their White peers. The foods and beverages most heavily marketed to youth are for unhealthy products, high in calories, sugar, fat, and/or sodium, that do not align with national recommendations for healthful diets. Research in this area examines how the elements of marketing—including product, price, placement, and promotion—influence the food and beverage preferences and choices of children and youth, as well as their weight status, and how such elements can be used to promote healthier eating.

Research & Publications See all

July 2022

Reducing Student Exposure to Digital Food and Beverage Marketing

Digital marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents is pervasive and undermines healthy eating. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students’ time spent online for both recreation and school using educational technology doubled from 3.8 to 7.7 hours per day for 12- to13-year-olds, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities widened with children of color More

July 2022

The Effect of Pandemic EBT on Food Hardship and Family Well-being

Pandemic EBT is a new program, operating since March 2020, that provides children who receive free or reduced-price meals with a voucher to purchase groceries for an amount equal to the value of school meals missed due to pandemic-related school closures. This program is being considered as a model for future nutritional assistance programs. Although More

July 2022

COVID-19 relief measures and food insecurity among low-wage worker families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of households, including nearly 14 million children, reported not having enough to eat. In response, the federal government enacted a set of far-reaching relief measures, expanding both USDA nutrition assistance programs as well as other economic safety net measures. Within a sample of low-wage workers with children, this research More

July 2022

SNAP Purchasing Power and Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

Food price inflation is an adverse outcome of COVID-19 that makes nutrition security more difficult for low-income families with children. School closures and pandemic-related assistance programs placed additional strains on the retail food system, which may have further amplified inflationary pressure on the cost of foods needed to support a healthy diet. The goal of More