DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The average child spends as much time viewing movies and television as he spends in school. Food and beverage product placement in movies is recognized as an effective marketing strategy by industry and recently was reported to be the best predictor of new product use by youth. To our knowledge the prevalence of food and beverage product placement in movies has not been reported, nor has youth exposure been estimated. This proposal seeks to draw on methodology employed in tobacco research to better understand the prevalence and intensity of food & beverage placement in movies and to estimate youth exposure. The study will include the following components: 1) Develop and test coding instruments; Measures will be identified and the coding schema developed and then evaluated to test inter-rater reliability; 2) Conduct a content analysis of on-screen food & beverage product placement for the top 25 box office hits from 1995-2004. The content analysis will provide us with a way to rate movies according to amount and type of product placement by year and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings. 3) Determine the intensity of food & beverage product placement. We will calculate the number of on-screen incidents (an index of intensity) by year, MPAA ratings, type of foods and food & beverage companies; 4) Estimate youth exposure to product placement. The number of impressions (each movie's food & beverage total incidents x tickets sold) delivered to children aged 6-11 and to teens age 12-17 by year, MPAA ratings and product companies. The primary outcome variables for this study are the prevalence and intensity of food & beverage product placement in movies and youth exposure. Secondary outcomes will include the examination of changes in the prevalence and intensity of food & beverage placement and youth exposure over the past 10 years and comparison of exposure between young children, teens, MPAA ratings, and food & beverage companies. As youth diet quality has declined and prevalence of overweight increased, marketing to youth has become a target of potential intervention and policy change, yet movies have not been studied. We must have a better understanding of product placement in movies and youth exposure. This study will provide pilot data to inform the development of an R01 to measure the relationship between youth exposure to food & beverage product placement in movies, diet quality and body mass index.
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