Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption: the role of message framing and autonomy

Churchill, Sue and Pavey, Louisa (2013) Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption: the role of message framing and autonomy. British Journal of Health Psychology, 18(3), pp. 610-622. ISSN (print) 1359-107X

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown that gain-framed messages (vs. loss-framed messages) are more effective when advocating 'low-risk' prevention behaviours (e.g., diet, exercise, dental flossing) that minimize the risk of a health problem.The objective of the reported research was to explore whether autonomy moderated the effectiveness of gain-framed vs. loss-framed messages encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption. DESIGN: A prospective design was used for this study. METHOD: At time 1, participants (N = 177) completed a measure of autonomy and read either a gain-framed message (describing the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption) or a loss-framed message (describing the disadvantages of not eating fruit and vegetables). At time 2, participants reported their fruit and vegetable consumption over the preceding 7 days. RESULTS: Autonomy moderated the effect of message framing. Gain-framed messages only prompted fruit and vegetable consumption amongst those with high levels of autonomy. CONCLUSION: The study identifies a key role for autonomy in shaping recipients' responses to framed messages promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. STATEMENT OF CONTRIBUTION: What is already known on this subject? Previous studies have shown that gain-framed messages (vs. loss framed messages) are more effective when advocating low-risk prevention behaviours (e.g., diet, exercise, dental flossing) that minimize the risk of a health problem. What does this study add? The current study is the first to demonstrate that the success of a gain-framed message to promote fruit and vegetable consumption is dependent on recipients' level of autonomy.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (until 2013)
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Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2012 11:48
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2013 15:54
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/24151

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