Digital marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents is pervasive, highly effective, undermines healthy eating, and contributes to health inequities. Expanded use of electronic devices and remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency for policy interventions to limit digital food marketing in schools and on school-issued devices. The US Department of Agriculture provides little guidance to schools for how to address digital food marketing. Federal and state privacy protections for children are inadequate. Considering these policy gaps, state and local education authorities can incorporate strategies to reduce digital food marketing into school policies for: content filtering on school networks and on school-issued devices; digital instructional materials; student-owned device use during lunch; and school use of social media to communicate with parents and students. Model policy language is provided. These policy approaches can leverage existing policy mechanisms to address digital food marketing from a variety of sources.
Published: March 2023
Journal: Journal of School Health
Authors: Wilking C, Moukalled S, Polacsek M
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