“Have you ever purchased a food or beverage because you saw an advertisement on TV, on-line or in a magazine?” On May 5, 2014, students at Pierce Middle School in Milton, MA answered this question and more as part of a nutrition education class called Unmasking the Media: Understanding Food Advertisements, developed and taught by FSU Food and Nutrition intern, Tina White.
The students learned about why companies use advertisements, who companies market to, and common marketing strategies used by companies to sell their products. The students watched a variety of food and beverage commercials and identified the target markets and tactics used to persuade viewers to buy the products. They also learned that food companies may give us misleading information, such as promising better athletic performance, in order to sell their products.
By the end of the lesson, students unmasked the media and were able to use their new knowledge to interpret food advertisements in order to make informed and healthier food choices, something we should all learn to do!
The Unmasking the Media lesson falls in line with the Milton Public Schools’ Wellness Policy, which states that “the district supports a healthy environment where children learn about and participate in dietary and lifestyle practices, and discourages practices that promote unhealthy activities and messages.”
For more resources on wellness policies and ways to incorporate nutrition education at your school, visit the School Wellness Initiative and Policies page at the JSI Resource Center and the Wellness Solution for Massachusetts website.
~ blog provided by Tina White, FSU Food and Nutrition Graduate Student