A statewide survey has found that 70 percent of food shops in California have outdoor advertising for unhealthy products like tobacco, alcohol and junk food, while only about 12 percent advertise healthy options like fruits and vegetables. Health officials who organized the survey of 7,300 retail stores are urging store owners to revise the way alcohol and tobacco products are being marketed, as well as advocating for better promotion of and access to healthy foods.
The survey, conducted by a coalition of local governments and private groups in all of California’s 58 counties, compared the availability of healthy and unhealthy products in thousands of stores, in addition to how those products are marketed. Public health officials released the results of this research conducted between July and October of last year, last week during a Los Angeles based press conference.
Pamela Sepulveda, a social worker from Orange County that participated in the survey told Southern California Public Radio: “When our children are walking home from school and they stop at the store to get a snack, they’re often met with choices like candy-flavored tobacco.” She added: “Yes, it is illegal to sell these items to our teens. However, when our teen goes to grab a Starburst, right next to it is a grape flavored cigarillo. The teen is being marketed to directly.”
The survey is part of a statewide campaign called Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, intended to persuade store owners not to market unhealthy products to kids, and to carry more healthy foods. Detailed data for each county in the state is available on the campaign’s website>>
Picture source: healthystoreshealthycommunity.com/visuals