Sima Hamadeh1* and Shant Estepan2
1Nutrition and Dietetics Sciences Department, Haigazian University, Lebanon
2Computer Science Department, Haigazian University, Lebanon
*Corresponding Author: Sima Hamadeh, Assistant Professor of Public Health Nutrition, Program Coordinator of Nutrition and Dietetics Sciences, Rue Mexique, Kantari, Beirut, Lebanon.
Received: April 11, 2018; Published: May 08, 2018
Citation: Sima Hamadeh and Shant Estepan. “The Visual Discourse of Food and Its Impact on Health: Research and Practical Implications”. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 2.6 (2018).
Food consumption and eating behaviors are variably affected by a whole range of factors and strongly influenced by environmental and social contexts. According to different studies, the highly use of food images in media and publicity, and brand placements in movies and fashion could explain reinforcing new eating behaviors and lifestyle patterns. The aim of this review is 1) to highlight the adoption of the visual discourse of food in media, advertisements, movies and fashion to promote new consumption norms; and 2) to suggest a collaborative effort to build smart food policies with inputs from food, fashion and film industries. Food endorsed by celebrities and brand logo in advertising are undoubtedly the most visible forms of food marketing communications. Besides, social media and mobile technologies provide novel opportunities to support food marketing and advertising techniques. Food brand placement is another marketing strategy highly used during the last decades by the advertising and food industries to reach consumers. Food brand placement is present in all types of movies, which present in their imagery a world and food that are always patently made by economic and cultural power. Food and fashion industries are strongly connected and use similar worldviews with same economic logic and marketing strategies including; merchandising, brand placement and social media. Public health efforts to promote healthy food patterns and lifestyles must compete with pervasive food marketing for unhealthy products. Public-private partnership is crucial to regulate food marketing strategies and enhance public health efforts. Social networks sites could be also used as potential means to increase the reach and efficiency of public health nutrition activities, such as visual communication for healthy food marketing and nutrition education. This review considers the great challenges related to food and health and suggests a framework illustrating the effect of the visual food discourse on health. This framework is the most comprehensive path for meeting the grand challenges in visual food marketing by setting focus and priority areas for food policies. Research and practical implications are also suggested with the goal of better understanding the visual discourse of food and improving public health. Finally, this review supports the concerns of nutrition experts and policy regulators about the bourgeoning practice of placing nutritionally poor food and beverages in popular entertainment formats such as media, fashion and movies.
Keywords: Food; Advertisements; Marketing; Media; Social Media; Movies; Fashion; Brand Placements; Persuasive Messages; Food Policies
Copyright: © 2018 Sima Hamadeh and Shant Estepan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.