Children's Obesity: Is Consumer Research Relevant?

“Children’s Obesity: Is Consumer Research Relevant?”


Session Co-Chairs


Elizabeth S. Moore, University of Notre Dame

William L. Wilkie, University of Notre Dame


Research Papers


“Consumer Research Inputs to Public Policy: The Case of Children’s Obesity”

Elizabeth S. Moore, University of Notre Dame

William L. Wilkie, University of Notre Dame


The disturbing trend of a steady increase in obesity among the nation’s youth has captured the attention of a broad set of citizens and institutions.  Public policymakers are responding by considering various courses of action involving marketing and advertising to children.  Inputs are being sought from the consumer research community, which has an opportunity to help direct the future of this debate.  This paper provides an historical analysis of prior consumer research inputs to policy in this area, and then details a series of needs, challenges, and opportunities for consumer researchers interesting in working in this area.



“Researching the Link between Food Advertising & Childhood Obesity”

Debra M. Desrochers, University of Notre Dame

Debra Holt, Federal Trade Commission


To combat the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, several constituencies are calling for restrictions on food marketing that is directed to children.  Others point out that there are numerous practical difficulties with such restrictions.  This segment will highlight past, current, and needed research regarding the relationship between food marketing and childhood obesity.  While past research provides a benchmark, current research will focus on the Federal Trade Commission’s new study of television advertising to children.  Future research is needed to establish the ling between marketing and obesity and to evaluate alternatives to government regulation of marketing to children.


“A Model of Children’s Preventive Health Behavior: Understanding the Role of Individual, Contextual, and Attitudinal Determinants”

Kathleen Seiders, Boston College

Elizabeth G. Miller, Boston College

Maureen E. Kenny, Boston College

Mary E. Walsh, Boston College


In this research, we investigate the influence of individual, contextual, and attitudinal factors on children’s preventive health behaviors. Because our goal is to better understand prevention behavior related to childhood obesity, we measure outcomes linked to children’s food choices and decisions about nutrition and physical activity. The model is examined in the context of a health education intervention that was implemented across nine urban, racially and ethnically diverse elementary schools. Our findings provide new insights into children’s health decisions, the impact of environmental influences, and the drivers of childhood obesity.  Public policy implications are discussed and recommendations are presented. 



Discussion Leader


Jerome D. Williams, University of Texas


Session Chair: Elizabeth Moore and Discussion Leader: Jerome Williams (2006) ,"Children's Obesity: Is Consumer Research Relevant?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 471-474.


Session Chair: Elizabeth Moore, University of Notre Dame
Discussion Leader: Jerome Williams, University of Texas


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33 | 2006

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