The context for choice: health implications of targeted food and beverage marketing to African Americans

Am J Public Health. 2008 Sep;98(9):1616-29. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.115626. Epub 2008 Jul 16.


Targeted marketing of high-calorie foods and beverages to ethnic minority populations, relative to more healthful foods, may contribute to ethnic disparities in obesity and other diet-related chronic conditions. We conducted a systematic review of studies published in June 1992 through 2006 (n = 20) that permitted comparison of food and beverage marketing to African Americans versus Whites and others. Eight studies reported on product promotions, 11 on retail food outlet locations, and 3 on food prices. Although the evidence base has limitations, studies indicated that African Americans are consistently exposed to food promotion and distribution patterns with relatively greater potential adverse health effects than are Whites. The limited evidence on price disparities was inconclusive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • Dietary Fats / supply & distribution
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Food Industry / economics
  • Food Industry / methods*
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Marketing / economics
  • Marketing / methods*
  • Obesity / economics
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • United States
  • White People


  • Dietary Fats