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"The financial squeeze caused by “The Great Recession,” and the economic doldrums that followed, placed significant pressure on school districts across the country. Schools and school districts, for years encouraged to engage in “school-business partnerships,” are pressed more and more to work with advertisers and corporate sponsors to replace lost revenue. In their quest for additional funding, many schools and school districts have allowed corporations to promote the consumption of sweetened beverages and foods of little or no nutritional value in school and in conjunction with school projects. "Promoting Consumption at School: Health Threats Associated with Schoolhouse Commercialism," was released today by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Promoting Consumption at School is the 15th annual report examining commercialism in public schools produced by NEPC’s Commercialism in Education Research Unit (CERU). In the report, University of Colorado Boulder researchers Alex Molnar, Faith Boninger, Michael D. Harris and Ken M. Libby, joined by Joseph Fogarty of the Corballa National School, County Sligo, Ireland, argue that marketing in schools not only generates little money, but threatens children’s physical and psychological health as well as the quality of their education...Molnar and his colleagues recommend that because the threats posed to children by advertising in school are often severe, policymakers should prohibit schools from participating in commercial marketing activities unless they provide compelling evidence that a proposed advertising program poses no threat to children’s well-being."

Posted April 23rd, 2013