Black Youth Exposed to Junk Food Ads at Greater Rates, Study Says

An analysis of TV-viewing patterns and related exposure to ads provides answers, and leads to the question, what are the health implications?

By Sheryl Estrada


Television ads promoting high-calorie fast food, sugary snacks and beverages are targeted toward Black adolescents more than any other demographic, according to a new study.

The study, which is the first comprehensive examination of television-viewing patterns and related exposure to food and beverage ads by age group, was published on Thursday in Pediatric Obesity by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

The highest rates of unhealthy food advertising appeared during programming targeted to youth under age 18, the study found. However, it was discovered that Black youth viewed approximately 50 percent or more ads than did white youth of the same age.

The researchers indicate that Black youth spend more time watching both "youth-targeted" and "Black-targeted" networks, such as Fuse, Nick-at-Nite, BET and VH1. These are also the networks that air the most food advertisements, researchers found.

"Black-targeted networks contributed a significantly higher proportion of ads for candy, fast food and other restaurants, baked goods, and carbonated beverages viewed by Black youth," according to the study.

Children's programming (including Disney XD and non-commercial programming) averaged the lowest rates. The study found that food advertising exposure increased with age for both Black and white youth.

The researchers used Nielsen (No. 41 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) data to compare the amount of TV viewing and the number of food advertisements viewed by network type (including Black-targeted, and child- and youth-targeted), age group (children, ages 2-5 and 6-11, and adolescents, ages 12-17), and race, and measured changes from 2008 to 2012.

According to Nielsen, "African Americans watch the most television of any group, watching nearly 200 hours per month—roughly 60 more hours than the total audience."

Frances Fleming-Milici, lead author of the study, and a research associate for the Rudd Center, said she found the results distressing.

"It was troubling to find that, despite little change in TV viewing time by young people of all ages over the four years, their exposure to food and beverage ads increased, and the increase for Black young people was even greater," Fleming-Milici said in a statement.

Adolescent Obesity

African American adolescent girls ages 12–19, have the highest prevalence of obesity of any group by gender, race or ethnicity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among girls in the 2009–2010 survey period, Black adolescents (24.8 percent) were significantly more likely to be obese compared with white adolescents (14.7 percent).

Similarly, from 1988–1994, Black adolescent girls (16.3 percent) were more likely to be obese compared with white adolescent girls (8.9 percent).

Diabetes, Black Youth and "Skin-Deep Resilience"

The American Diabetes Association states that the rates of diagnosed diabetes among African Americans is at 13.2 percent, compared to 7.6 percent of whites, 9 percent of Asian Americans, 12.8 percent of Latinos, and 15.9 percent of American Indians/Alaskan Natives.

About 208,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, approximately 0.25 percent of that population. But, according to the CDC, an estimated 86 million Americans are living with prediabetes, a serious health condition that increases a person's risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

A recent study actually examined how high-achieving Black youth from disadvantaged backgrounds are at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes during adulthood.

"Resilience in Adolescence, Health, and Psychosocial Outcomes," published in the American Academy of Pediatrics this month, reports that high-striving Black youth from the most disadvantaged homes were more than twice as likely to develop diabetes by age 29 as high-achieving Black teens from more affluent homes.

"We reasoned that, if disadvantaged children were succeeding academically and emotionally, they might also be protected from health problems that were more common in lower-income youth," lead study author Gene Brody of the University of Georgia in Athens told Reuters. "As it turned out, the exact opposite was true."

Brody added, "These young people were achieving success by all the conventional markers: doing well academically, staying out of trouble, making friends, and developing a positive sense of self. Underneath, however, their physical health was deteriorating."

He refers to the youth as having "skin-deep resilience." Usually found in adults, this means that resilient and high-achieving Black youth from disadvantaged homes display few outward signs of the stress they endured to succeed in school and work but still having health problems under the surface.

Researchers didn't find this pattern of skin-deep resilience in white youth.

Black youth, compared with other participants in the study, were more obese, produced more stress hormones, had higher blood pressure, had faster aging of their immune cells, and displayed a greater susceptibility to infection, Brody said.

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REUTERS

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, said that slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be "proud" of what President Donald Trump has done for Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.

Bannon was the CEO of Trump's presidential campaign. Trump gained supporters by calling Mexicans rapists, committing to building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., allowing Black people to be physically assaulted at his rallies and lightly disavowing the support of white supremacists.

"Martin Luther King ... he would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for [the] Black and Hispanic working class, okay?" Bannon said on "This Week" Sunday.

On Sunday, King's daughter, Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, re-tweeted a post from The Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott who referenced a similar claim Bannon had made previously. She included a response, simply stating: “Absolutely not."

In May, King tweeted:

Bannon said in March at an event with far-right French politicians that they should "wear" accusations of racism "as a badge of honor."

Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes," he said. “Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor. Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker."

Bannon said on Sunday that he was “talking specifically about Donald Trump and his policies."

“His economic nationalism doesn't care about your race, your religion, your gender, your sexual preference," he said.

The Trump administration's “zero tolerance" immigration policy is currently separating children of undocumented immigrants from their mothers and fathers.

King tweeted on Sunday:

Doctors Call for Health Policies that Support Women

Clinicians also need to understand that the unique medical needs for women of color, who have an increased risk of certain diseases relative to white women.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — Making it easier and more affordable for women to access care, and supporting research that includes how treatments work in both sexes, can improve the health of all Americans, not just women, doctors argue.

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Visual Communications is a nonprofit whose mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives.

Originally Published by Nielsen.

In commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), we recently released our sixth report on Asian-American consumers, Asian Americans: Digital Lives and Growing Influence. The report is the first in this year's Diverse Intelligence Series (DIS).

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The second Nielsen Global Responsibility Report published contains forward-looking strategy and goals as a company and outlines how Nielsen's ESG efforts connect to the most critical business issues, including diversity representation and inclusion, and data privacy, security and integrity.

Originally Published by Nielsen.

A MESSAGE FROM MITCH BARNS, CEO, NIELSEN

In our second Global Responsibility Report, we explore how we are expanding what it means to create value as a company.

It's through our holistic approach to cultivating a corporate responsibility and sustainability mindset that we create—and multiply—value for our company, our people, our shareholders, and our world. We recognize that to do it right, value creation must be collaborative, inclusive and focused on the long term.

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Allowed to turn himself in with pre-arranged bail already taken care of.

REUTERS

There was one more red carpet for Harvey to walk down. At 7:30 this morning, the alleged rapist walked into a Lower Manhattan police station surrounded by cameras flashing and reporters shouting his name.

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Nielsen's Diverse Leadership Network Builds Momentum With Fifth Class And Business Impact Projects

"Each year we induct a new class to the DLN, we're strengthening our diverse pipeline for years to come," said Audrey Yi, VP, Diversity & Inclusion at Nielsen.

NIELSEN

Originally Published by Nielsen.

We recently inducted the class of 2018 for our Diverse Leadership Network (DLN) in Chicago, marking our fifth class of the program. The DLN, a 15-month leadership development program, is our most diverse leadership program and provides opportunities for high-potential, mid-level leaders to learn from senior leaders within the company, collaborate among their peers, and apply their skills to practical business case studies.

The 2018 class includes 40 talented associates from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and across every function of our business. Participants met with their coaches for the first time during the orientation. DLN coaches are senior leaders who guide participants throughout the 15-month program and provide strategic guidance for non-DLN related experiences as well. Some of our more than 90 associates who are DLN alums spoke at this year's orientation event, sharing strategies and tips for optimizing time in the program and enjoying networking and learning from their fellow classmates.

"Each year we induct a new class to the DLN, we're strengthening our diverse pipeline for years to come," said Audrey Yi, VP, Diversity & Inclusion at Nielsen. "Our data from the past five years of DLN graduates shows that, upon graduation from the program, associates are expanding their leadership and influence in our company, as 93% of alumni are in a new or expanded role and 20% have reached the VP/general manager level. Representation of DLN graduates in leadership positions shows that we're committed to infusing diversity and inclusion into everything we do at Nielsen."

DLN graduates are expected to complete business impact projects that will provide process improvements and innovation for our business. That's why we also invited senior leaders to share the company's strategic priorities for FMCG/Retail, Total Audience, Gracenote and more. Participants will use the content of these presentations to guide their problem-solving process on business projects that will be assigned later in the program.

As part of the program's initiative to foster external relationships with clients and other brands, Eugene Campbell, Director, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Allstate and Co-Chair of our African-American Advisory Council, gave a keynote address during the orientation. Eugene spoke about the unique opportunity afforded to DLN participants, and how this class should utilize their coaches and other resources to aid in their leadership journey.

DLN IMPACT PROJECTS

Meanwhile, the DLN class of 2017 has continued their development in the program and recently completed four business impact projects that will be beneficial for many aspects of our company and our clients.

Development and Socialization of Multicultural Solutions

A team of DLN participants developed a strategy to both aggregate and socialize Nielsen's multicultural solutions with clients. The team created a multicultural solution roadmap, that points our client teams to the appropriate Nielsen product that helps our clients better reach multicultural consumers. They also created a task force that meets monthly to increase client awareness of our multicultural solutions. This project is essential to our business, because it shows our clients that we know the importance of multicultural consumers and are able to accurately measure their unique consumer preferences and behaviors.

Sales Engineering Process Improvement

Another DLN team created a streamlined process for our data to reach our clients. First, they engaged with both our sales engineers and client service teams to assess the areas where there were opportunities for increased efficiency. Then, the team developed a detailed responsibilities structure, which ensures that tasks are properly allocated and prioritized. The end result of this project is a better flow of information to our clients, which allows us to drive their business goals more efficiently.

Internal Cultural Adoption of Total Audience

A third team worked to socialize and evangelize our Total Audience system for internal associates. The group developed a strategy to both educate our employees and build their interest in our Total Audience measurement, which seeks to measure viewership across the many platforms available to consumers today. By creating this engagement, we ensure that our associates know the best way to incorporate Total Audience solutions into their client relationships and that our clients have access to our best audience measurement tools.

Experienced Hire Talent Assessment Model

Our final DLN team studied Nielsen's need for a way to assess prospective experienced candidates for Nielsen jobs. They helped Nielsen select Pymetrics, a talent assessment company that will use a candidate-friendly, AI-powered, bias-free set of games to assess a candidate's fit for a role.

"The DLN team was instrumental in helping us get to the talent behind what's next, by evaluating the marketplace for talent assessment solutions," said Chris Louie, SVP, People Analytics and Talent Assessment and sponsor of the DLN talent assessment project. "They leveraged their diverse set of experiences—different perspectives shaped by their current functional and geographic homes and their personal experiences as candidates. This provided unique perspectives on what a useful cross-Nielsen solution would look like. This project is a prime example of the superior results that diverse teams can produce when empowered to do so."

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Childish Gambino's insightful, intelligent and powerful observation of our culture inspires layered analysis.

Race, gun violence and U.S. culture are explored in recording artist Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video, which has gone viral. The video has garnered more than 74 million views on YouTube since it was released on Saturday and the buzz continues to grow.

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