Industry progress to market a healthful diet to American children and adolescents

Vivica I. Kraak*, Mary Story, Ellen A. Wartella, Jaya Ginter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Context: The IOM released an expert committee report in 2005 that assessed the nature, extent, and influence of food and beverage marketing practices on the diets and health of American children and adolescents. The report concluded that prevailing marketing practices did not support a healthful diet and offered recommendations for diverse stakeholders to promote a healthful diet. The investigators evaluated progress made by food, beverage, and restaurant companies; trade associations; entertainment companies; and the media to achieve the IOM report recommendations over 5 years. Evidence acquisition: A literature review was conducted of electronic databases and relevant government, industry, and media websites between December 1, 2005, and January 31, 2011. Evidence selection was guided by the IOM LEAD principles (i.e., locate, evaluate, and assemble evidence to inform decisions) and five qualitative-research criteria, and it was validated by data and investigator triangulation. The investigators selected and categorized 117 data sources into two evidence tables used to evaluate industry progress (i.e., no, limited, moderate, and extensive). Evidence synthesis: Food and beverage companies made moderate progress; however, limited progress was made by other industry subsectors. Industry stakeholders used integrated marketing communications (IMC) to promote primarily unhealthy products, which threaten children's and adolescents' health and miss opportunities to promote a healthy eating environment. Conclusions: Diverse industry stakeholders have several untapped opportunities to advance progress by promoting IMC to support a healthful diet; substantially strengthening self-regulatory programs; supporting truthful and non-misleading product labeling and health claims; engaging in partnerships; and funding independent evaluations of collective efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-333
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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