Media and Marketing

The Media Domain challenges media and other partners to reframe the issue of childhood obesity with a focus on policy and environmental change.

About | Past Meeting Minutes | Domain Summary | Resources

Glossary of Terms

About the Media Domain:

Next meeting:

Media Domain meetings are held every other month. For information on attending these meetings, please contact the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative at 858.609.7964 or email.

Visit the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative Calendar for a complete schedule of upcoming meetings.

Domain Champions:

Dan Bennett, UC San Diego Center for Community Health
Blanca Melendrez, UC San Diego Center for Community Health
Joangrace Espiritu, YMCA Childcare Resource Service

COI Staff Contact:

Dan Fesperman, Director, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, 858.609.7982, email
Nina Ghatan, Coordinator, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, 858.609.7964, email

Domain Summary:

The Media Domain challenges media and other partners to reframe the issue of childhood obesity with a focus on policy and environmental change. The domain workgroup develops common language that supports the Initiative and its partners in addressing childhood obesity from a comprehensive framework and highlights local best practices. Media Domain partners work strategically to identify the Initiative as the authoritative voice on childhood obesity in San Diego County and elevate the community's awareness of local efforts and solutions. For a complete overview of the Media Domain, click here.

Media Domain Strategies:

The following is a partial list of strategies that aim to engage media and other partners with the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative to prevent childhood obesity. A complete list of strategies can be located in Call to Action: Childhood Obesity Action Plan.

  • Cover the issue of childhood obesity from the framework of social and environmental factors rather than solely as a product of individual behavior.
  • Create opportunities for discussion of childhood obesity and its environmental factors in traditional, social, and emerging media.
  • Tailor obesity prevention communications to multiple audiences in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Recognize the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative as the local authoritative voice on childhood obesity.
  • For a complete list of Media Domain strategies, please see the Call to Action: Childhood Obesity Action Plan.

Domain partners are working with local media and other partners to achieve these strategies through a variety of activities including, but not limited to the following:

  • Foster relationships with and provide support to local media to encourage portrayal of childhood obesity from a produce of greater social and environmental factors rather than a product of individual behavior.
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for the media to provide information on childhood obesity prevention and healthy food and physical activity environments.
  • Provide expertise on developing promotional and outreach strategies that for activities that support the mission of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative.
  • Provide technical assistance, resources and support to assist partners to use common language when discussing the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative and policy / environmental change.
  • Publicly recognize efforts of media and other partners that meet the goal of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative.


This document outlines the domain's current activities.


These common ambitions and commitment to local policies and planning efforts have provided domain partners with the right tools for success. Recent accomplishments include:

  • Created success story templates for use by domains to capture and share their collaborative efforts among COI partners.
  • Disseminated materials promoting the 5-2-1-0 messaging.
  • Provided education to COI domain co-chairs and Resident Leadership Academy Council on storytelling and dissemination of accomplishments.
  • Redesigned the COI newsletter to enhance look and content.
  • Developed a tool to track 5-2-1-0 materials to better understand how and to whom they are disseminated.
  • Connected with and promoted partners' efforts and communicated breaking public health news through social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Since their launch, the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative's social media accounts have amassed more than 1,359 followers.
  • Provided training to the Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) Council to help build capacity allowing for better dissemination of their efforts in the community.
  • Worked with domain champions across all workgroups concerning the best way to integrate 5-2-1-0 into each domain's project.

Obesity Prevention Activities for Children Age 0-5:

The following activities impact San Diego County children ages 0-5:

  • Dissemination of the 5-2-1-0 messaging campaign materials, which promotes four daily practices that can be adopted by children and parents to improve overall health and avoid obesity.
  • Using various forms of media to reach parents and promote healthy eating and active living.




Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness


This site provides information so people can live healthier lives in functional families in vibrant communities by taking control of the electronic media in their lives.

Childhood Obesity:  The New Tobacco

Overcoming the childhood obesity epidemic will require changes on the scale of a social movement similar to the shift in attitudes and regulations toward smoking and tobacco. Framing obesity as a common threat can lead to consensus regarding the interventions needed to achieve healthier children and communities.

Food and Beverage Marketing to Children and Adolescents: What Changes are Needed to Promote Healthy Eating Habits?


Although many social, cultural and environmental factors influence children's and adolescents' risk for obesity, marketing may have an especially powerful impact on what foods and beverages they consume. Promotion of food and beverage products permeate the daily lives of children and adolescents, and the majority of products advertised to them are high in calories, sugar, sodium and fat.

Framing Brief: The Problem with Obesity




This paper describes the challenge of reframing the concept of obesity so that it can be more easily understood as an issue that is social, economic, and political in nature.

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds


This Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the role of media in young people's lives.  An understanding of the media's impact is essential for those concerned about promoting the healthy development of children and adolescents, including parents, pediatricians, policymakers, children's advocates, educators, and public health groups.


Moving Nutrition Upstream: The Case for Reframing Obesity

This paper uses obesity as an example of the need for reframing the concept of nutrition so that it is understood on a broader level than individual behavior change. The authors also offer some suggestions on reframing based on lessons learned from other public health issues.

New Media, Same Old Tricks: A Survey of the Marketing of Food to Children on Food Company Websites


Consumers International, working with the International Obesity Taskforce has drawn up a set of recommendations for an international code on the marketing of food and nonalcoholic beverages to children. The recommendations target the marketing of energy dense, nutrient-poor foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt to children up to 16 years old.


Social Marketing: Nutrition and Physical Activity

This web course provides training for public health professionals about how to use social marketing to plan nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention programs.

The Impact of Industry Self-Regulation on the Nutritional Quality of Foods Advertised on Television to Children

Strong scientific evidence shows that the marketing of unhealthy foods to children is a significant risk factor contributing to childhood obesity. In 2006, amidst growing public concern about this issue, the food and beverage industry responded with the self-regulatory Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Children Now commissioned this study to analyze the effectiveness of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.


The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity

This report by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation pulls together the best available research, going behind the headlines to explore the realities of what researchers do and do not know about the role media plays in childhood obesity. In addition, the report lays out media-related policy options that have been proposed to help address childhood obesity and outlines ways media could play a positive role in helping to address this important public health problem.


Become A Partner Subscribe to E-News Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • Overweight children are far more likely to be obese as adults (California Center of Public Health Advocacy, 2009)
  • In 2006 alone, overweight; obesity; and physical inactivity cost California $41 billion in healthcare and productivity loss
  • One in four children in San Diego County is overweight or obese; this is slightly higher than the national average (California Center for Public Health Advocacy, 2009)

News & Upcoming Events

See our latest newsletter and the COI calendar for upcoming events.

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Core funding provided in part by:

Kaiser Permanente County of San Diego

A project facilitated by:

California Health Improvement Partners

San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
5095 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite #105, San Diego, CA 92123
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