FoodMania was a media literacy program developed for improving family conversations and skills related to food marketing and nutrition.
FoodMania was the FIRST family-based media literacy obesity prevention program. Youth ages 9-14 and a parent attended the 6-class series together.
Kids & Food in a Marketing-Driven World was written and produced as a collaboration among Washington State University’s Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion Research, Washington State University Extension, the Washington State University Department of Human Development and the NW Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, University of Washington.
Whom did we serve?
Children ages 9-14 and their families.
Why do we need FoodMania?
Nearly 1 out of 3 U.S. children are either overweight or obese. Children may be more likely to choose unhealthy food after seeing food advertisements on TV or online. Seeing just one or two food ads can affect young children’s eating choices.
FoodMania’s approach was innovative and unique. Most media-related educational programs that target school-age youth try to convince families to use less media, often with limited success. FoodMania empowered parents and youth to critically analyze marketing messages about food, helps them find accurate information and guides them to use tools such as food labels.
What are the goals of FoodMania?
The ultimate goals of FoodMania were to 1) increase parent purchasing and youth consumption of fruits and vegetables and 2) decrease parent purchasing and youth consumption of foods high in calories, fat, sugar and salt.
What did the FoodMania kit include?
- A Leader’s Guide, with detailed lesson plans and instructions for all 6 units
- 20 Handouts and activity sheets
- 2 copies of the 5W’s and Nutrition Facts Label posters
- 20 Family Resource Guides
- Activity cards for lessons
- USB containing PowerPoints for 6 units with embedded videos
- FoodMania Facebook campaign materials
- The FoodMania kit will be available in print or electronic format.
Can I get the curriculum?
FoodMania was produced for 5 Extension offices in Washington state and currently is not available for broader distribution.
FoodMania was developed through needs assessment focus groups, community-based work groups, and extensive pilot and field testing The project was led by Erica Weintraub Austin, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the WSU Edward R. Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion Research,
Austin E. W., Cohen M., Deen M. K., Parker L., Power T., Barale K., Brandt B., Brown S., Cummins M., Fees J., Scanga L. H., Varrella G., Viebrock M., Kistler M., Johnson B., Adler C., Hua V., Austin B. W., Edwards Z., Kallman D., Kaiser C. K., Stefani W. (2017). FoodMania! Curriculum Project. Pullman, WA: Washington State University.
FoodMania was made possible through funding by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2012-68001-19618 to Washington State University.
Austin, E. W., Austin, B. W., Kaiser, C. K., Edwards, Z., Parker, L., & Power, T. ( 2020). A media literacy-based nutrition program fosters parent-child food marketing discussions, improves home food environment and youth consumption of fruits and vegetables. Childhood Obesity. https://doi.org/10.1089/chi.2019.0240
Austin, E. W., Austin, B. W., Kaiser, C. K. (2020). Effects of family-centered media literacy training on family nutrition outcomes. Prevention Science, 21(3), 308-318. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-020-01101-x
Austin, E. W., Austin, B. W., French, B. F., & Cohen, M. A. (2018). The effects of a nutrition media literacy intervention on parents’ and youths’ communication about food. Journal of Health Communication, 23 (2): 190-199. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2018.1423649
Austin, Erica Weintraub, et al. “The Role of Parents’ Critical Thinking About Media in Shaping Expectancies, Efficacy and Nutrition Behaviors for Families.” Health Communication 30.12 (2015): 1256-1268.
Refereed Conference Papers and Posters
Austin, E., Dean, M.K., Austin, B., Kaiser, C.K., Kallman, D., Edwards, Z., Stefani, W., Kistler, M., Cohen, M., Johnson, B., Parker, L., & Power, T. (2018, July). Foodmania: Effects of a curriculum using media literacy as the catalyst to improve parent-child discussion and food behaviors. Poster presented at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), Minneapolis, MN.
Edwards, Z., Brandt, C., & Kallman, D. (2018, May). FoodMania: Kids & food in a marketing driven world. Poster presented at the National Health Outreach Conference, Bloomington, MN.
Kaiser, C.K., Austin, E. W., Power, T., Kistler, M., Austin, B., Edwards, Z., Kallman, D. (2017, November). Nutrition focused media literacy empowers families to make healthier food choices in a marketing saturated environment. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.
Kallman, D., Kistler, M., Kaiser, C.K., Austin, E.W. (2017, November). Exploring participant engagement in a supplementary facebook curriculum. Poster presented to the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.
Austin, E. W., Deen, M. K., Cohen, M., Johnson, B., Power, T., Austin, B., Kistler, M., Edwards, Z., & Kallman, D., Kaiser, C. K. (2017, July). Stage 2 field testing of a family-based media literacy and nutrition program to prevent childhood obesity. Poster presented to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, Washington, D.C.
Kallman, D., Kistler, M., Kaiser, C.K., & Austin, E.W. (2017, July). Exploring participant engagement in a supplementary Facebook component to the FoodMania curriculum. Poster Presented at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, Washington, DC.
Austin, E.W., Austin. B. W., French. B., & Cohen, M. A. (2017, May). The effects of a nutrition media literacy curriculum on parents and children. Paper presented to the Health Communication Division of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA.
Austin, E. W., Shultz, J. A., Deen, M. K., Cohen, M., Johnson, B., Power, T., Austin, B., Kistler, M., Edwards, Z., & Kaiser, C. K. (2016, August). Field testing of a family-based media literacy and nutrition program to prevent childhood obesity. Poster presented to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, San Diego, CA.
Austin, E. W., Shultz, J. A., Deen, M. K., Cohen, M., Calodich, S., Johnson, B., Parker, L., & Power, T. (2015, July). Pilot testing of a media literacy-based curriculum to enhance youth and parent media skills and food behaviors: Year 3 of 5. Poster presented to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, Pittsburgh, PA.
Austin, E W., Shultz, J. Armstrong, Cohen, M., Parker, L., Calodich, S., …Kallman, D. (2014, June). Audience-driven curriculum design to enhance youth and parent media skills and food behaviors: Year 2 of 5. Poster presented to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior National Conference, Milwaukee, WI.
Austin, E. W., Deen, M. K., Shultz, J. A., Calodich, S., Parker, L., Power, T., … Xu, S. (2013, August). A family-based media literacy approach to improving youth and family nutrition. Poster presented to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, Portland, OR.
Refereed Conference Panels
Austin, E. W. (2017, July). Featured success stories for AFRI grants program. Presented to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, Washington, D.C.
Kallman, D., (2016, November). Audience-Driven Social Media Curriculum to Enhance Parent Medial Skills and Food Behaviors. As part of mHealth for Underprivileged Communities: Challenges and Opportunities. Presented to the National Communication Association, Health Communication Division, Philadelphia, PA.
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For information about the FoodMania! project or to explore potential partnerships to produce and distribute an updated curriculum, contact Dr. Erica Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org.