Nutri-Medias is a very practical, very hands-on tool, which can be usedby a facilitator during an awareness-raising or training session.It includes a PowerPoint presentation of 40 animated slides and a user guidethat makes it very easy to use by a facilitator during the session.
The tool was developed as part of COFACE’s cooperation and membership ofthe EU’s Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. This group was represented at the meeting by Philippe Roux from DG SANCO. The European Platform is a response to the alarming rise in childhoodobesity first observed some years ago, which now affects about 24% of Europe’s 6-to-9-year-olds. DG SANCO has responded to this challenge with comprehensive policiescovering many obesity-related factors: promoting physical activity,reformulating foods, better marketing oversight, ramping up information andawareness campaigns, etc.
The decision to focus the Nutri-Medias tool on the existing link betweenadvertising, media and food and consumptionhas a scientific bases, as it was clearly shown in a number of researchstudies, –a link clarified by CNRS researcher Monique Dagnaud in her talk during theParis launch of the tool.
Children play a key role in family purchasing decisions, including foodwhich is one reason why they are targeted by advertising.
Adverts -andthe media generally- are tailored to target and get through to childrenbetter. Adverts often turn the hierarchy of family relationships on theirhead, portraying children as more "savvy" than their parents. The impact advertising has on children's behaviour has been shown in a fewindependent studies, but these are outnumbered by business-funded ones whichhave potential conflicts of interest.
As well as traditional media like TV and billboards, advertising andmarketing have swamped the Internet. Marketing is increasingly personalized andinteractive, based on children’s online activities. Adverts are all over theInternet –on online games, social networks, streaming sites, etc.
It is a monumental challenge! The health risks of a poor diet arewell-established. Something has to be done. As a European network of family organisations, COFACE is hoping to usethis tool to reach out directly to parents, encouraging them to sit down at thecomputer/TV with their children, and sharpen their critical thinking byrevealing the marketing mechanisms and techniques used to influence the waythey eat.
The tool is only available in French at the moment, but there are plansto adapt it to other European countries. Our mid-term objective is to translatethe tool into English, and promote it more widely in Europe.
Nutri-Medias' Leaflet (pdf, in French)
Published on 10 Oct 2012
Updated on 23 Jun 2015