Pollard Middle School Demystifies Food Marketing!

With a constant barrage of food marketing in the media, it is no wonder that separating nutrition fact from fiction can be tricky and frustrating. Fear not! The seventh grade students at Pollard Middle School in Needham are now marketing experts ready to save the day.

asmith1 During a three-month span from March to May 2016, four health classes at Pollard Middle School participated in the “Commercial Confusion” nutrition education lesson developed by FSU Food and Nutrition intern Alyssa Smith. Alyssa and fellow intern Annabelle Ho helped the Nutrition and Wellness department for Needham Public Schools uphold the values in their wellness policy by teaching this along with several other lessons to students in kindergarten through 9th grade. 

The “Commercial Confusion” lesson encouraged students to think about how and where food advertising reaches them. By discussing social media and viewing commercials the students learned about tricks used to make foods more appealing like adding animated characters, celebrities and strategic packaging. After decoding various marketing campaigns, students asmith2working in small groups created their own campaigns to market healthy foods including kale, broccoli, and salmon. The creativity was incredible! Students created skits, animated mascots and even created full commercials in only 10 minutes. By the end of the lesson each student was empowered to make more educated choices and see beyond the advertisements.

For more information visit The Wellness Solution for MA website. The John Stalker Institute also has a Resource Center with an abundance of resources including K-12 Lessons.

Submitted by: Alyssa Smith, graduate student in the FSU Coordinated Program in Dietetics