Increased advertising has measurable impact on fruit and vegetable consumption

September 5, 2012 by Randy Dotinga
Increased advertising has measurable impact on fruit and vegetable consumption

The key to getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables may be advertising, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Marketing seems to play a role in guiding people to eat better, said study co-author Michel Faupel, of the University of Arkansas. "It's not huge, but it's a measurable impact."  

Researchers wondered if there was any difference in fruit and between states with agricultural marketing programs and those without. Currently, dozens of states support advertising, packaging and in-store displays that promote fresh produce to consumers, many promoting locally grown fruits and vegetables. In Arkansas, for instance, displays at stores alert customers to that were grown in the state, Faupel said.

The study examined the results of surveys held in 2000 and 2005 of 237,320 people in the U.S., asking participants about their eating habits. In states that adopted marketing campaigns during this time-frame, the percentage of those who reported they ate at least five servings of per day—the recommended amount—grew from 24 percent to 26.5 percent.

The most notable difference was in women: In states without , the percentage who met the five-a-day guideline fell from 27 percent to 26.1 over the five years, but grew from 27.6 percent to 30.1 percent among those with the programs. "During a period of time when fresh produce consumption was decreasing nationally, the states that had these programs did not follow the national trend," Faupel said. "Instead their produce consumption stayed level or it increased slightly."

Harry Kaiser, Ph.D., a professor of applied economics and management at Cornell University, said the study findings are similar to those of his own research into the value of produce marketing programs. "When we look at any sort of advertising of general commodities, they generally have a positive impact. But they're pretty minor," he said.

So are these programs cost-effective? Kaiser thinks so, based on his studies of industry programs to promote the sales of things like walnuts, raisins, beef and milk. "From an industry standpoint," he said, "you don't have to have a humongous impact for it to be profitable."

Explore further: An apple a day isn't enough

More information: Howlett A, et al. The Positive Influence of State Agricultural Marketing Programs on Adults' Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. September/October 2012, American Journal of Health Promotion.

Related Stories

An apple a day isn't enough

January 10, 2012
Adults from 30 to 60 years old, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, aren't consuming the daily recommended levels of fruits and vegetables. Quebecers, however, eat more of nature's produce than their fellow ...

Keep food safety in mind this memorial day weekend

May 26, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Picnics, parades and cookouts are as much a part of Memorial Day weekend as tributes to the United States' war veterans.

Recommended for you

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.