Testing the Effectiveness of Public Service Ads in Persuading Target Audiences to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now developing media campaigns to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, which has been found to play a significant role in childhood obesity. The aim of this research project is to test the efficacy of existing beverage-related media messages for youth and parents in order to understand the message features that influence beverage choices and resonate with audiences who are at risk for obesity. This study will be conducted in two stages: 1) a content analysis of the available anti-SSB public service advertisements (PSAs) to determine what types of messages are being used to discourage sugary drink consumption, and 2) a subset of PSAs exemplifying distinct message features will be selected and tested with an online panel of 800 adolescents ages 13 to 17 and 800 parents of children ages 3 to 17 to evaluate how the message features interact with audience characteristics and how the ads predict intention to reduce SSB consumption. Findings of the study will allow health departments to effectively tailor their sugary-beverage messages for the youth and adults who are most at risk for obesity in their communities.
Research suggests that media campaigns targeting weight-related behaviors may inadvertently increase stigmatization of obese and overweight individuals and could backlash such that stigmatized individuals are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors following exposure to the message. This study examines stigmatized and non-stigmatized parents’ emotional and cognitive responses to sugar-sweetened … More
There is substantial evidence that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is associated with weight gain in both children and adults. As a result, Public Service Announcements (PSAs) have been produced to both increase knowledge about the amount of sugar in drinks and to highlight the harmful effects of their overconsumption. … More
Mass media campaigns are a commonly used and often effective public health strategy. However, it is unknown how health messages about sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), widely accepted and advertised products, will be perceived by teen audiences. This study investigated the direct and mediated effects of emotional appeals in beverage-related public service … More