What is food countermarketing?
Food countermarketing is defined as activities that decrease the consumption of unhealthy food and beverages. Food countermarketing activities challenge the marketing of unhealthy products.
Unlike traditional health education, which often tells you what not to do, food countermarketing urges the public not to be deceived by junk food marketers who relentlessly market unhealthy products.
Why is countermarketing unhealthy food a useful tool to fight back against unhealthy marketing and to encourage healthier eating behaviors?
Please read our policy brief Countermarketing Unhealthy Food: Lessons from Tobacco to find out why.
Where can I find research on countermarketing?
Please refer to the Educational and Teaching Resources page.
What are some organizations that are doing countermarketing work?
ACDP @ PS 48
Bronx Helpers Program @ New Settlement Apartments
If your organization does countermarketing work and would like to be added to the list, please email us at UrbanFoodPolicy@sph.cuny.edu.
What is a Big Food Company?
Big Food Companies are usually multinational food and beverage companies with huge and concentrated market power. They are also the primary producers of ultra-processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar.
How can I launch a countermarketing initiative?
Please check the Educational and Teaching Resources section for information on how you can launch a countermarketing initiative.
What are some resources that can be used to teach about countermarketing?
We have free teaching resources that you can access here.
Why are youth the main target of your countermarketing initiatives?
Youth are the main targets of our countermarketing initiatives because junk foods are marketed to them the most—especially African-American and Latino youth. In addition, as has been shown with tobacco, the best messengers to reach youth are their own youth peers. With our countermarketing initiatives, we aim to raise awareness among youth, and give them a voice to fight back against predatory junk food marketing.
Why is challenging marketing of unhealthy food a social justice and racial justice issue?
Targeted marketing of unhealthy food to low income, Black and Latino, youth and other populations contributes to their higher rates of diet-related health problems in these groups. Ultimately, excess consumption as a result of aggressive marketing leads to premature deaths and preventable illnesses related to diets. Challenging food industry marketing campaigns that contribute to this burden of illness can contribute to reduced appeal and consumption of these products. Expanding the use of countermarketing can help to reduce this health gap.
How can I support countermarketing initiatives or take action?
Find a local organization that is doing countermarketing work and get involved. Bring awareness to your city officials. You can even start your own countermarketing initiative!