Persuading Young Consumers to Make Healthy Nutritional Decisions
There is widespread concern that consumers are making inappropriate decisions about what they eat, leading to a growing incidence of obesity and chronic illness which will strain public health budgets and damage economic competitiveness. Inappropriate nutritional decisions and obesity are of particular public policy importance where young consumers are concerned. The paper investigates how consumers, particularly young consumers, can be persuaded to make better nutritional decisions voluntarily, and how government and commercial persuasive communications can be deployed to facilitate such decisions. The key conclusions are that the mass media are not a reliable vehicle for bringing about the desired behavioural changes, but that new media, such as the Internet and ‘text messaging’ should be used to deliver tailored messages to individuals, particularly younger consumers.