Thursday, June 28, 2012

Does Food Marketing Need to Make us Fat? A Review and Solutions Nutrition Reviews70, 10 (2012) 571-593

Food marketing is often singled out as the leading cause of the obesity epidemic. In this review, we examine the current food marketing, determine how exactly it may be influencing food intake, and how food marketers could meet their business objectives while helping people eat healthier. We pay particular attention to the insights provided by the recent studies published in marketing and consumer research and integrate them with findings from nutrition and related disciplines. We first examine the multiple ways in which 1) pricing strategies and 2) marketing communication (including branding and food claims) bias food consumption. We then review the effects of newer and less conspicuous marketing actions, focusing on 3) packaging (including the effects of design and packaged-based claims) and 4) the eating environment (including the availability, salience, and convenience of food). Throughout this review we underscore the promising opportunities food manufacturers and retailers have to make profitable “win-win” adjustments to help consumers eat better.