May 29th, 2014
Costs and Benefits of Allowing Marketing in Schools
By Jennifer L. Harris, Ph.D., M.B.A.
The psychology behind marketing to young consumers
In my previous blog, I discussed the need for greater awareness about the prevalence of marketing for unhealthy foods and beverages that takes place in schools today – and the important new rule proposed by the USDA, and supported by First Lady Michelle Obama, to eliminate marketing of foods that do not meet “Smart Snacks” nutrition standards and cannot be sold in schools.
But eliminating marketing for sugary drinks, fast food and candy in schools should be just the first step. While developing their new school wellness policies, schools should also reevaluate the financial benefits they receive from all forms of in-school marketing – and determine whether those benefits are worth the costs to students’ health and well-being.