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Every year in the U.S., companies spend nearly $2 billion marketing unhealthy foods and drinks to kids in a ton of sneaky ways: in the school cafeteria, on YouTube and social media, through gaming, sports and event sponsorships, branded toys, product placements, athlete endorsements, and even on your kids virtual learning problems. In this episode, I’m talking with Bettina Elias Siegel, a national journalist, children’s food advocate, and author of “Kid Food: The Challenge of Feeding Children In a Highly Processed World,” about the history of food marketing to kids in the U.S., why companies are determined to reach kids of all ages, the “pester power” conundrum, kid influencers on YouTube, how parents can spot these sneaky tactics, what needs to happen at a policy level, and what you can do to advocate for stronger policies and affect change. 

New episodes post on Tuesday. Subscribe today so you never miss the latest news and practical insight for raising healthy families and creating change in the U.S. 

Be sure to sign up for the free video course, Turn Your Picky Eaters Into Little Foodies: https://www.julierevelant.com/free-video-email-course/.


2:23 What is the history of food marketing and advertising in the U.S.?

4:35 Why are food and beverage companies determined to target kids and teens?

8:25 What’s problematic about food marketing to kids today and what are the sneaky ways they’re being targeted?

11:21 Has anything changed about their strategy and tactics during COVID-19?

13:57 Food marketing in the cafeteria at schools—are there rules around this?

19:00 Why is the recent study in the journal Pediatrics about kid influencers concerning?

24:27 Is there oversight for food marketing and advertising? 

33:00  What is problematic about the marketing of seemingly “healthy” foods such as yogurt or brands that are endorsed by someone who is perceived as healthy like an athlete?

34.52 What needs to happen at a policy level?

39.21 What can parents do to advocate for change and also make healthy choices for their kids?

42:18 Where listeners can go to get more information about these Food Issues and Bettina Elias Siegel. 


Kid Food: The Challenge of Feeding Children in a Highly Processed World

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Food Issues
Food Issues
Julie Revelant

With hundreds of thousands of Americans dying each year from obesity, type-2 diabetes, and a slew of chronic health conditions—all a direct result of food inequities, a broken food culture, and food marketing, and worsened by COVID-19, a significant shift in how we think about food and how we feed our kids must happen now if we want to change the trajectory of health for our kids. Food Issues hosted by health journalist and blogger Julie Revelant features interviews with authors, researchers, healthy food advocates, and thought leaders who want to educate, inspire, and empower organizations, parents, and local communities to create real, lasting change and ensure a healthier future for our kids. Through profound conversations that uncover the real issues affecting families coupled with easy, practical tips for parents, this podcast is the place to change our kids’ futures.

Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.