Education and awareness tool on the links between the media and food - Nutri-Medias
COFACE and UNAF-France co-hosted a day conference to unveil and launch the
"Nutri-Medias" tool, aimed at media literacy and dietary education, in
Paris. The Nutri-Medias tool was developed for family associations, schools,
parents’ associations, or anybody who is in contact with children in an
educational role (parents, teachers).
Nutri-Medias is a very practical, very hands-on tool, which can be used
by a facilitator during an awareness-raising or training session.
It includes a PowerPoint presentation of 40 animated slides and a user guide
that makes it very easy to use by a facilitator during the session.
The tool was developed as part of COFACE’s cooperation and membership of
the 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 childhood
obesity 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 policies
covering many obesity-related factors: promoting physical activity,
reformulating foods, better marketing oversight, ramping up information and
awareness campaigns, etc.
The decision to focus the Nutri-Medias tool on the existing link between
advertising, media and food and consumption
has a scientific bases, as it was clearly shown in a number of research
studies, –a link clarified by CNRS researcher Monique Dagnaud in her talk during the
Paris launch of the tool.
Children play a key role in family purchasing decisions, including food
which is one reason why they are targeted by advertising.
the media generally- are tailored to target and get through to children
better. Adverts often turn the hierarchy of family relationships on their
head, portraying children as more "savvy" than their parents.
The impact advertising has on children's behaviour has been shown in a few
independent studies, but these are outnumbered by business-funded ones which
have potential conflicts of interest.
As well as traditional media like TV and billboards, advertising and
marketing have swamped the Internet. Marketing is increasingly personalized and
interactive, based on children’s online activities. Adverts are all over the
Internet –on online games, social networks, streaming sites, etc.
It is a monumental challenge! The health risks of a poor diet are
well-established. Something has to be done. As a European network of family organisations, COFACE is hoping to use
this tool to reach out directly to parents, encouraging them to sit down at the
computer/TV with their children, and sharpen their critical thinking by
revealing the marketing mechanisms and techniques used to influence the way
The tool is only available in French at the moment, but there are plans
to adapt it to other European countries. Our mid-term objective is to translate
the tool into English, and promote it more widely in Europe.
Published on 10 Oct 2012
Updated on 31 Jan 2013