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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of the Promotion of Vegetables by a Social Influencer on Adolescents’ Subsequent Vegetable Intake: A Pilot Study

1
Open Evidence Research, Barcelona, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
2
Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, Communication and Cognition, 5037 AB Tilburg, The Netherlands
3
Independent Researcher, De Boelelaan 1101, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072243
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 22 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
Marketers have found new ways of reaching adolescents on social platforms. Previous studies have shown that advertising effectively increases the intake of unhealthy foods while not so much is known about the promotion of healthier foods. Therefore, the main aim of the present experimental pilot study was to examine if promoting red peppers by a popular social influencer on social media (Instagram) increased subsequent actual vegetable intake among adolescents. We used a randomized between-subject design with 132 adolescents (age: 13–16 y). Adolescents were exposed to an Instagram post by a highly popular social influencer with vegetables (n = 44) or energy-dense snacks (n = 44) or were in the control condition (n = 44). The main outcome was vegetable intake. Results showed no effect of the popular social influencer promoting vegetables on the intake of vegetables. No moderation effects were found for parasocial interaction and persuasion knowledge. Bayesian results were consistent with the results and supported evidence against the effect of the experimental condition. Worldwide, youth do not consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, making it important to examine if mere exposure or different forms of food promotion techniques for healthier foods are effective in increasing the intake of these foods. View Full-Text
Keywords: food cues; food marketing; healthy food; adolescents food cues; food marketing; healthy food; adolescents
MDPI and ACS Style

Folkvord, F.; de Bruijne, M. The Effect of the Promotion of Vegetables by a Social Influencer on Adolescents’ Subsequent Vegetable Intake: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2243.

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