Increasing Children's Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Lessons from advertising
Scientific evidence shows that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (F&V) is one of the essentials for lowering the risks of chronic diseases including obesity. Nevertheless, children and adolescents in particular fail to meet public health guidelines with regard to an adequate intake of these food items. Based on the Motivation-Ability-Opportunity framework this article provides a brief discussion of the multiple interdependent factors influencing children's decisions to consume F&V. Advertising and promotion of food aimed at children by commercial enterprises is of great relevance in this regard. Research provides substantial evidence that it plays a direct as well as indirect role in influencing children's nutritional behaviour by appealing to their personal and social needs and desires. Such advertising to children, however, exists almost exclusively for food of poor nutritional quality thus encouraging and maintaining unhealthy food behaviour. As it is difficult privately to differentiate F&V products, this leads to the question of whether there should be more publicly-funded generic advertising for F&V to children that makes use of the same marketing strategies applied by commercial advertising. However, even if advertising of F&V increases in quantity and quality, success might be modest as long as there is no change in the overwhelming amount and variety of environmental cues promoting unhealthy dietary behaviour amongst children. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2009.
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Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
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