Does message framing matter for promoting the use of nutritional warnings in decision making?

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Gabriela Vidal, Universidad de la Republica
  • ,
  • Leandro MacHín, Universidad de la Republica
  • ,
  • Jessica Aschemann-Witzel
  • Gastón Ares, Universidad de la Republica, Universidad de la República Facultad de Química

Objective: To evaluate the impact of message framing on attitudes towards messages aimed at promoting the use of nutritional warnings, behavioural intention and actual behaviour, evaluated through visual attention to nutritional warnings and the choice of a snack product during a real choice task.Design: Following a between-subjects design, participants were exposed to loss-framed nutrition messages, gain-framed nutrition messages or non-nutrition-related messages (control group). After evaluating the messages, participants were asked to select a snack product as a compensation for their participation. The experiment was conducted using an eye tracker.Setting: Montevideo (Uruguay).Participants: Convenience sample of 201 people (18-51 years old, 58 % female).Results: The average percentage of participants who fixated their gaze on the nutritional warnings during the choice task was slightly but significantly higher for participants who attended to nutrition messages (regardless of their framing) compared with the control group. Participants who attended to loss-framed messages fixated their gaze on the warnings for the longest period of time. In addition, the healthfulness of the snack choices was higher for participants exposed to nutrition-related messages compared with the control group.Conclusions: Results from the present work suggest that nutrition messages aimed at increasing awareness of nutritional warnings may increase consumers' visual attention and encourage more heathful choices. The framing of the messages only had a minor effect on their efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Pages (from-to)3025-3034
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • Communication campaign, Front of pack, Labelling, Nutrition information, Public policy, Warning labels

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