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Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111673

Messaging for Interventions Aiming to Improve Calcium Intake in Young Adults—A Mixed Methods Study

Charles Perkin Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract

Social media channels are the preferred communication tools for many young adults and therefore may have applications in health promotion. The framing of messages is important, as an intervention must resonate with the target group. The aim of this study was to determine what type of messaging is preferred by young adults to improve their calcium intake. A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted and young adults aged 18 to 25 years recruited. A 14-item survey collected information on the participants’ demographics, ranking of text messages, mock Facebook posts with images, preferences related to type of posts they find personally relevant, and frequency and likelihood of engagement with posts and polls in social media. In addition, optional responses from participants about factors that motivate them to consume more calcium-rich foods were included and thematically analysed using NVivo. Eighty-one participants (17 males) completed the survey. No significant difference in ranking of the text messages and Facebook posts were found. Participants indicated that recipe demonstrations (n = 71), cost-saving tips (n = 70), and information on recommended daily intake (n = 62) were personally relevant, while meal inspiration (n = 70), awareness-raising posts (n = 41), and messages about obtaining enough calcium from non-dairy sources (n = 38) would encourage them to eat more calcium-rich foods. The qualitative replies indicated the tone (in young adults’ language) and length (short) of messages preferred, and the messaging they perceived would motivate young adults. In conclusion, short, aesthetically pleasing and personally relevant messages written in the language of young adults were recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: young adults; calcium; health promotion; social media; public health young adults; calcium; health promotion; social media; public health
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Rouf, A.; Allman-Farinelli, M. Messaging for Interventions Aiming to Improve Calcium Intake in Young Adults—A Mixed Methods Study. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1673.

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