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Soc Issues Policy Rev. 2009 Dec 1;3(1):211-271.

The Food Marketing Defense Model: Integrating Psychological Research to Protect Youth and Inform Public Policy.

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  • 1Yale University.


Marketing practices that promote calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods directly to children and adolescents present significant public health risk. Worldwide, calls for government action and industry change to protect young people from the negative effects of food marketing have increased. Current proposals focus on restricting television advertising to children under 12 years old, but current psychological models suggest that much more is required. All forms of marketing pose considerable risk; adolescents are also highly vulnerable; and food marketing may produce far-reaching negative health outcomes. We propose a food marketing defense model that posits four necessary conditions to effectively counter harmful food marketing practices: awareness, understanding, ability and motivation to resist. A new generation of psychological research is needed to examine each of these processes, including the psychological mechanisms through which food marketing affects young people, to identify public policy that will effectively protect them from harmful influence.

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