We all consume messages about food every day, and the messages we receive can influence our behavior and have a real impact on our communities: from targeted appeals of low-income consumers and consumers of color that push cheap and unhealthy foods while simultaneously shaming consumers for making “poor choices,” to the reinforcing of racial and gender stereotypes through food and the stigmatization of obesity.
But how do families pressed for time and funds sift through the complex messages they receive about food, weighing health and economic costs against the desire for comfort, community, and belonging that food can bring? In this session, we’ll examine how media, marketing, and the world around us can shape how we eat. We’ll also explore how marketing and media can be used as a force for good in helping families access good food with dignity.
Fireside chat to follow the session
Meet Our Panelists
Dr. Marcia Chatelain
History and African American Studies
Marcia Chatelain is a Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015) she teaches about women’s and girls’ history, as well as black capitalism. Her latest book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright Publishing Co./W.W. Norton, 2020) examines the intricate relationship among African American politicians, civil rights organizations, communities, and the fast food industry. In 2021, Chatelain received the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Hagley Prize in Business History, and the Organization of American Historians (OAH) Lawrence W. Levine Award for Franchise. An active public speaker and educational consultant, Chatelain has received awards and honors from the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. At Georgetown, she has won several teaching awards. In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named her a Top Influencer in academia in recognition of her social media campaign #FergusonSyllabus, which implored educators to facilitate discussions about the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. She has held an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at New America, a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.
Department of Population Health
NYU Langhone Health
Omni Cassidy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine/Langone Health. She received her PhD in 2019 in Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in the T32 Population Health Science Scholars Program. Dr. Cassidy’s research is at the intersection of food, eating, culture, and technology. She received an F31 award sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to examine the effect of racially-targeted television food ads and food-related attentional biases on eating behaviors in Black adolescent girls. Her current work focuses on leveraging innovative technologies to assess the food environment and equip communities of color with navigating their food environments. Dr. Cassidy is ultimately committed to promoting higher quality food environments for the planet and people, particularly people of color.
Christina Economos, PhD
Professor and the New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and Chair of the Division of Nutrition Interventions, Communication, & Behavior Change at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science
Christina Economos is Professor, Dean for Research Strategy, Director of ChildObesity180, New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and Chair of the Division of Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Medical School at Tufts University.
Dr. Economos’ research efforts have addressed the interaction among nutrition, exercise, body composition, bone health, and the built environment, toward preventing osteoporosis and obesity, starting in early childhood. As the principal investigator of large-scale research studies, her goal is to inspire behavior, policy, and environmental change to reduce obesity and improve the health of America’s children. She has worked effectively with diverse communities and has crafted, implemented, and evaluated a physical activity and nutrition education curriculum. With ChildObesity180 she develops, implements, evaluates, and scales high-impact obesity prevention initiatives. Dr. Economos led the Shape Up Somerville study demonstrating that it is possible to reduce excess weight gain in children through multiple leverage points within an entire community.
Dr. Economos is the principal investigator for Catalyzing Communities. Other research interventions Dr. Economos has led include: the BONES (Beat Osteoporosis: Nourish and Exercise Skeletons) Project funded by NICHD; Shape Up Somerville, EAT SMART, PLAY HARD funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); The CHANGE Project with Save the Children; The Balance Project funded by the PepsiCo Foundation; and Assessing and Preventing Obesity in New Immigrants, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has authored over 200 scientific publications and raised over $55 million in research support.
Dr. Economos is involved in national obesity and public health activities and has served on four National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees where she is currently Vice Chair of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions. She also co-leads the Tufts Institute for Global Obesity Research, which facilitates and supports research partnerships across the world. In addition, she has been featured in numerous media outlets including CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. Dr. Economos received a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, a Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and a Doctorate in Nutritional Biochemistry from Tufts University.
Keep the Conversation Going: Food & The Powerful Impact of Media Fireside Chat
Immediately following our session, we will hold a more informal conversation and offer the opportunity to share a few reflections, answer questions we didn’t get to and have a thoughtful discussion on what we just heard. The fireside chat will be hosted by Elliott Gaskins from Share Our Strength who will be joined by Katie Workman, chef, author, Share Our Strength Leadership Council member and anti-hunger advocate.
Register for and stay after the session, Food & The Powerful Impact of Media.