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What Initiatives Are British Food Retailers Taking to Improve Children’s Health and Nutrition?

Published Date April 06, 2016
Research Topic
Research Type
Authors Neal Hooker

Abstract

Along with food manufacturers, retailers contribute directly to the national diet. While efforts to reformulate private-label products have been assessed, little research considers other voluntary initiatives to impact public health. We explore efforts targeting children’s health and nutrition. Making use of the corporate social responsibility reports of the seven leading retailers from 2006 to 2011, we examine the types of actions, by which retail chains and when. Before 2008, most retailers reported on initiatives promoting children’s nutrition education and physical activity in schools. Since 2009, references to such programs have decreased, with a shift toward child wellness. We find that retailers differ in approaches and commitment. Those with larger market shares mention initiatives more frequently. Most activities are related to nutrition education, developing cooking skills, and promotion of physical activity and not product reformulation. Our research suggests these efforts are not coordinated, might be misplaced, and do not persist over time.

SouzaMonteiro, Diogo M. and Neal H. Hooker. 2017. What Initiatives are British Retailers Taking to Improve Childrens Health and Nutrition? Journal of Food Products Marketing. 23(2): 209220