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Article

Effects of Advertising: A Qualitative Analysis of Young Adults’ Engagement with Social Media About Food

1
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Notting Hill 3168, Australia
2
School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne 3000, Australia
3
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne 3000, Australia
4
Behaviours and Health Risks, Burnet Institute, Melbourne 3004, Australia
5
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton 3053, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Stephanie Partridge and Alice Gibson
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061934
Received: 3 May 2021 / Revised: 1 June 2021 / Accepted: 3 June 2021 / Published: 4 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Food Environments, Food Choice and Public Health)
Young adults are constantly exposed to energy-dense, nutrient-poor food and beverages, particularly through advertising. Exposure can influence poor food choices and negatively impact health. This study aimed to understand young adults’ attitudes and experiences associated with food-related advertisements, particularly on social media. This qualitative analysis involved n = 166 Australian 18 to 24-year-olds who were involved in a four-week online conversation on different areas relating to health, social media, and eating. Inductive thematic analysis was utilised on two forums on the recall and perceptions of food-related advertisements. Young adults commonly mentioned aspects of the marketing mix (promotion, product, price, and place) in food advertisements. Participants were more readily able to recall energy-dense, nutrient-poor food advertisements compared to healthy food-related advertisements. Digital advertisements were often discussed alongside the use of ad-blockers and algorithms which tailored their social media viewing to what they like. Participants felt constant exposure to unhealthy food advertisements hindered their ability to realise healthy eating behaviours and created feelings of guilt. This current analysis highlights the need to provide an advertising environment that appropriately motivates healthy eating and a food environment that allows healthy food to be the affordable and convenient option. View Full-Text
Keywords: food; advertising; marketing; young adults; social media; social marketing food; advertising; marketing; young adults; social media; social marketing
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Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Molenaar, A.; Saw, W.Y.; Brennan, L.; Reid, M.; Lim, M.S.C.; McCaffrey, T.A. Effects of Advertising: A Qualitative Analysis of Young Adults’ Engagement with Social Media About Food. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1934. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061934

AMA Style

Molenaar A, Saw WY, Brennan L, Reid M, Lim MSC, McCaffrey TA. Effects of Advertising: A Qualitative Analysis of Young Adults’ Engagement with Social Media About Food. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):1934. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061934

Chicago/Turabian Style

Molenaar, Annika, Wei Yee Saw, Linda Brennan, Mike Reid, Megan S. C. Lim, and Tracy A. McCaffrey. 2021. "Effects of Advertising: A Qualitative Analysis of Young Adults’ Engagement with Social Media About Food" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 1934. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061934

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