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

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

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.