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Are African Americans Targeted for Obesity by Marketers?

In the past, I’ve talked about how food marketers play a large role in how we and our kids are getting heavier by the day. Now there may be evidence that African Americans are specifically targeted, and suffering the consequences.

According to an article in the American Journal of Public Health, which examined marketing and advertising studies conducted between 1992 and 2006, there is a disparity between how food is marketed to blacks and whites.burger

Unfortunately, this piece on the subject over at Advertising Age doesn’t really give a convincing argument. The one piece of evidence plays into the concerns that are being addressed in Los Angeles: that in some black neighborhoods, it’s easier to find a fast-food restaurant than it is a grocery store.

While there are a number of factors, including economic and cultural, that contribute to the dilemma, head researcher Sonya Grier emphasized that marketers have gone to great lengths to change their positioning for different demographics.

August 30th, 2008

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One Response to “Are African Americans Targeted for Obesity by Marketers?”


Leah Peah
Aug 30th, 2008
9:44 am

This is so true. In a neighborhood in my community they recently closed a grocery store that had been there for 50 years. It is in a predominantly black, lower income neighborhood. In its place now stand a bakery cafe, a Papa Murphys PIzza and a Burger King. Race aside, this goes on in a lot of lower income neighborhoods; where people don’t have cars and must depend on businesses within walking distance. When the only choices are pizza and burgers- the effects are pretty self explanatory.