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Open AccessArticle

Consumer Acceptance of Population-Level Intervention Strategies for Healthy Food Choices: The Role of Perceived Effectiveness and Perceived Fairness

1
Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen 6706 KN, the Netherlands
2
Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, Utrecht 3584 CS, the Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7842-7862; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095370
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 1 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 15 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition: A Social Psychological Perspective)
The present study investigates acceptance of intervention strategies for low-calorie snack choices that vary regarding the effect they have on consumers’ freedom of choice (providing information, guiding choice through (dis)incentives, and restricting choice). We examine the mediating effects of perceived effectiveness and perceived fairness, and the moderating effects of barriers to choose low-calorie snacks and perceived responsibility for food choice. Data was collected through an online survey, involving three waves that were completed over a seven week timespan. Information was collected on barriers and perceived responsibility, and evaluations of a total of 128 intervention strategies with varying levels of intrusiveness that were further systematically varied in terms of source, location, approach/avoidance, type, and severity. A total of 1173 respondents completed all three waves. We found that the effect of intervention intrusiveness on acceptance was mediated by the perceived personal- and societal effectiveness, and the perceived fairness of interventions. For barriers and perceived responsibility, only main effects on intervention-specific beliefs were found. Government interventions were accepted less than interventions by food manufacturers. In conclusion, the present study shows that acceptance of interventions depends on perceptions of personal- and societal effectiveness and fairness, thereby providing novel starting points for increasing acceptance of both existing and new food choice interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity prevention; intervention strategies; consumer acceptance; effectiveness; fairness; intrusiveness; beverages; snack foods; low-calorie; healthy choices obesity prevention; intervention strategies; consumer acceptance; effectiveness; fairness; intrusiveness; beverages; snack foods; low-calorie; healthy choices
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Bos, C.; Lans, I.V.D.; Van Rijnsoever, F.; Van Trijp, H. Consumer Acceptance of Population-Level Intervention Strategies for Healthy Food Choices: The Role of Perceived Effectiveness and Perceived Fairness. Nutrients 2015, 7, 7842-7862.

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