mcdiabetes

Engaging Young People in Countermarketing Unhealthy Food: The Youth Food Educators Toolkit

Image from YOFE Countermarketing Campaign

This guide provides resources and lessons plans for youth organizations, food groups, schools and health departments that want to engage young people in taking action to reduce the demand for unhealthy food. Based on two years’ experience of the Youth Food Educators (YOFE) Program, a project of the City University of New York Urban Food Policy Institute, the guide summarizes what has been learned from these experiences. More than two decades of tobacco control have shown that countermarketing is effective in reducing youth smoking rates.  Countermarketing describes health communications strategies designed to reduce the demand for unhealthy products by exposing the motives of their producers and portraying their marketing activities as outside the boundaries of civilized corporate behavior.  This guide describes how young people can use this strategy to reduce the demand for processed food products high in sugar, unhealthy fats and salt.