The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the content of nutrition marketing materials within the cafeterias of schools in Central Arizona. By collecting photographs of marketing material from three elementary schools, one K-8 school, three middle schools and three high schools, 59 pieces of nutrition marketing were gathered. The schools chosen were a convenience sample and selected from schools that were already participating in ASU' s School Lunch Study. The photographs were sorted by grade level and then coded quantitatively and qualitatively for their purpose, visual components, strategies used and relevance. Results from this novel study provided insight into prevalence, size, textual content, educational content, strategies for fruit and vegetable marketing, messaging and overall design of existing nutrition marketing within the sample schools. This study found that the prevalence of nutrition marketing within all school cafeterias appeared to be low, particularly within elementary and middle schools. Diverse types of messaging were present among elementary, middle and high schools and a variety of appeals were utilized with little consistency. Many of the strategies used in the nutrition marketing appeared disconnected from the population it was intended to appeal to. Educational components were notably lacking within middle school cafeterias but were often effectively integrated into high school nutrition marketing. The results are unique to this population, and further research is required to evaluate the content of existing nutrition material on a larger scale, so efforts can be made to improve the persuasiveness of nutrition marketing in promoting fruit and vegetable consumption.
- Content Analysis of Existing Nutrition Marketing Materials in Central Arizona Schools
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