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. This article explores the impact of anti-SSB PSAs on parents’ intention to reduce their child’s consumption of SSBs. Eight-hundred and seven parents were assigned to one of three experimental conditions with exposure to PSAs using distinct emotional appeals (fear, humor, and nurturance) or a control group (non-SSB PSA). Parents’ emotional and cognitive responses to the ads and intentions to cut back on their child’s SSB consumption were assessed using a path analysis. Findings show no difference in the experimental versus control groups on intention to reduce children’s intake. However, parents who had greater feelings of empowerment and hope, and greater perceived argument strength post-PSA viewing, were significantly more likely to intend to cut back on their child’s SSB consumption. These findings suggest that anti-SSB campaigns targeting parents should include strong arguments for SSB reduction, invoke feelings of empowerment and hope, and be clearly directed at distinct parent audiences.
Sugar-Sweetened Beverage-Related Public Service Advertisements and Their Influence on Parents
Weight Stigmatization Moderates the Effects of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage-Related PSAs Among U.S. Parents
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
Do Emotional Appeals in Public Service Advertisements Influence Adolescents’ Intention to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages?
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
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 … More