Marketers have found new ways of reaching adolescents on social platforms. Previous studies have shown that advertising effectively increases the intake of unhealthy foods while not so much is known about the promotion of healthier foods. Therefore, the main aim of the present experimental pilot study was to examine if promoting red peppers by a popular social influencer on social media (Instagram) increased subsequent actual vegetable intake among adolescents. We used a randomized between-subject design with 132 adolescents (age: 13–16 y). Adolescents were exposed to an Instagram post by a highly popular social influencer with vegetables (n = 44) or energy-dense snacks (n = 44) or were in the control condition (n = 44). The main outcome was vegetable intake. Results showed no effect of the popular social influencer promoting vegetables on the intake of vegetables. No moderation effects were found for parasocial interaction and persuasion knowledge. Bayesian results were consistent with the results and supported evidence against the effect of the experimental condition. Worldwide, youth do not consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, making it important to examine if mere exposure or different forms of food promotion techniques for healthier foods are effective in increasing the intake of these foods.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2020|
- Food cues
- Food marketing
- Healthy food