The confluence of Big Data analytics and digital media is rapidly transforming the retail and grocery marketplace, fundamentally altering how food companies engage with consumers and how families make nutrition choices. This model of food marketing could exacerbate existing health disparities, especially in areas where youth are at higher risk for obesity, and where the choices for healthy foods are limited, but it also creates opportunities for harnessing digitally-driven Big Data as a positive force for health. The primary purpose of this study is to determine the key research questions public health researchers need to investigate to understand the public health implications of “path-to-purchase” and retail food and beverage marketing. The research will be qualitative in nature, relying on published data from a variety of sources; consultation with public health researchers, practitioners, and legal scholars; and interviews with representatives of major retail chains, food companies, and data analytics firms. Findings will help to inform public health scholars of the nature and extent of the transformation of the retail setting, and help researchers construct the studies needed to assess, and respond to, this new landscape.
Using Big Data and the Digital Retail Marketplace to Inform Public Health Studies
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More