Uruguayan citizens’ perception of messages to promote healthy eating through the use of nutritional warnings

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  • Gastón Ares, Universidad de la Republica
  • ,
  • Leandro Machín, Universidad de la Republica
  • ,
  • Leticia Vidal, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay
  • Tobias Otterbring
  • ,
  • Jessica Aschemann-Witzel
  • María Rosa Curutchet, Instituto Nacional de Alimentación
  • ,
  • Isabel Bove, UNICEF Uruguay

Objective: To explore the specific type of messages people consider most appropriate for a mass communication campaign aimed to promote healthy eating in the context of the implementation of nutritional warnings. Design: Online study including multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Setting: Uruguay, 1 of the Latin American countries with the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity. Participants: A total of 859 participants were recruited using social media. They were diverse in terms of gender, age, educational level, socioeconomic status, and self-reported body mass index. Phenomenon of Interest: Participants were presented with 3 series of messages and were asked to select the 1 they perceived as the most appropriate and to provide a brief explanation for their selection. Analysis: Descriptive statistics for the multiple-choice questions and inductive coding for the responses to the open-ended questions. Results: Participants tended to prefer messages that conveyed a cue to action for achieving changes to their perceived ability to make healthful food choices. Although messages related to the promotion of informed food choices were the most frequently preferred, messages related to negative health consequences and health benefits were also selected repetitively. Conclusions and Implications: Communication campaigns aimed at promoting healthy eating through the use of nutritional warnings could include different contents to target specific segments with different motivations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Pages (from-to)918-927
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • front-of-pack, message framing, nutrition labeling, public policy

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