The objective of this study was to describe the extent and locations of soft drink advertisements on high school campuses in Pennsylvania and identify factors related to extent of these advertisements. Surveys were distributed to 271 school foodservice directors in a random sample of high schools in Pennsylvania. These high schools were selected to be representative of the entire population of high schools in Pennsylvania based on chosen demographic characteristics. A three-phase survey strategy was used, involving distribution of a postcard reminder 1 to 2 weeks after the initial survey distribution, and mailing of a second survey to nonrespondents 1 to 2 weeks after mailing of the postcard. Two hundred twenty-eight school foodservice directors (84%) returned surveys. Linear multiple regression analyses were done using SPSS (version 11.5.1, 2002, SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). Approximately two thirds (66.5%) of respondents indicated soft drink advertisements exist in at least one location in their school, with the most prevalent locations being on vending machines (62%) and school grounds, such as playing fields (27%). Slightly more than 10% of respondents indicated soft drink advertisements displayed in the cafeteria. Extent of soft drink advertisement locations was positively related to existence of a pouring-rights contract, subscription to Channel One, and receipt of incentives from soft drink bottlers based on sales, but negatively related to average daily participation in school lunch. These findings suggest that commercialization and sales incentives might interact to contribute to school environments that are not "nutrition-friendly." Schools' efforts to establish wellness policies as mandated by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 provide ideal opportunities to examine school environments for advertising that might conflict with the healthful environments they are aiming to establish, and perhaps to develop policies to address these practices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics