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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?
dren and youth. Figures 5-1 and 5-2 provide examples of the types of resources and inputs and the types of strategies and actions that can be evaluated to determine if desirable short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes are being achieved.
Figure 5-1 focuses on key components in developing and promoting low-calorie and nutrient-dense beverage products for sale in the marketplace and settings where they are available to children and youth. The three key resources and inputs highlighted in the evaluation framework are the leadership and commitment by companies, retailers, and trade associations to develop consistent health promotion policies; the strategic planning of companies that reflect substantial investments and growth in healthier beverage product portfolios (e.g., low-calorie and calorie-free beverages, such as bottled water) over a specific time frame; and funding (evidence that companies are dedicating substantial resources to develop and promote affordable, calorie-free, or low-caloric and nutrient-dense beverage products in smaller serving sizes (e.g., 8- or 12-ounce servings for reduced-calorie beverages and larger portions for calorie-free beverages). To assess whether individual companies and the industry sector as a whole are moving toward the goal of developing and promoting low-calorie and nutrient-dense beverage products, companies and industry can be evaluated on the strategies and actions they employ, which can include:
Company development of programs and policies to reflect healthier beverage product portfolios and integrated marketing plans that emphasize low-calorie or noncalorie beverages.
Marketing and promotions that reflect responsible advertising and marketing guidelines—including advertising, public relations, promotion and pricing—particularly for children younger than 8 years of age, who do not understand the meaning of the persuasive intent of commercial messages. These guidelines are especially relevant to evolving forms of marketing vehicles and venues that are not systematically tracked, such as product placement across multiple forms of media, spokescharacter endorsement of products, Internet marketing, and mobile marketing.
Education through a variety of methods, including general educational materials, product labeling, proprietary icons or logos, and health claims to assist young consumers and their parents with making informed decisions about purchases at food retail outlets and restaurants.
Active collaborations with other sectors by individual companies or collectively by the industry sector. Collaboration may be assessed through company membership in trade associations, coalitions, and involvement in public-private partnerships that support obesity prevention and health promotion, particularly with an emphasis on consumption of healthier beverages by children and youth.