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The formation of food brand associations and attachment is fundamental to brand preferences, which influence purchases and consumption. Food promotions operate through a cascade of links, from brand recognition, to affect, and on to consumption. Frequent exposures to product promotions may establish social norms for products, reinforcing brand affect. These pathways signify potential mechanisms for how children’s exposure to unhealthy food promotions can contribute to poor diets. The present study explored children’s brand associations and attachments for major food brands.
A cross-sectional online survey was conducted. Fourteen study brands were used, with each child viewing a set of seven logos. The questionnaire assessed perceptions of food brands and perceptions of users of brands, using semantic differential scales, and perceived brand ‘personalities’, using Likert scales.
New South Wales, Australia, October–November 2014.
Children aged 10–16 years (n 417).
Children demonstrated strong positive affect to certain brands, perceiving some unhealthy food brands to have positive attributes, desirable user traits and alignment to their own personality. Brand personality traits of ‘smart’ and ‘sporty’ were viewed as indicators of healthiness. Brands with these traits were ranked lower for popularity.
Children’s brand associations and attachments indicate the potential normative social influences of promotions. While children are aware of brand healthiness as an attribute, this competes with other brand associations, highlighting the challenge of health/nutrition messaging to counter unhealthy food marketing. Restricting children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing and the persuasive nature of marketing is an important part of efforts to improve children’s diet-related health.
Relatives of people with psychosis experience high levels of distress and require support. Family interventions have been shown to be effective in improving outcomes but are difficult to access and not suitable for all relatives.
To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a supported self-management package for relatives of people with recent-onset psychosis.
A randomised controlled trial (n = 103) comparing treatment as usual (TAU) in early intervention services with TAU plus the Relatives' Education And Coping Toolkit (REACT) intervention (trial identifier: ISRCTN69299093).
Compared with TAU only, those receiving the additional REACT intervention showed reduced distress and increased perceived support and perceived ability to cope at 6-month follow-up.
The toolkit is a feasible and potentially effective intervention to improve outcomes for relatives. A larger trial is needed to reliably assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of REACT, and its impact on longer-term outcomes.
To provide an independent monitoring report examining the ongoing impact of Australian self-regulatory pledges on food and drink advertising to children on commercial television.
Analysis of food advertisements across comparable sample time periods in April/May 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The main outcome measure comprised change in the mean rate of non-core food advertisements from 2006 to 2011.
Sydney free-to-air television channels.
Televised food advertisements.
In 2011 the rate of non-core food advertisements was not significantly different from that in 2006 or 2010 (3·2/h v. 4·1/h and 3·1/h), although there were variations across the intervening years. The rate of fast-food advertising in 2010 was significantly higher than in 2006 (1·8/h v. 1·1/h, P < 0·001), but the same as that in 2011 (1·5/h).
The frequency of non-core food advertising on Sydney television has remained essentially unchanged between 2006 and 2011, despite the implementation of two industry self-regulatory pledges. The current study illustrates the value of independent monitoring as a basic requirement of any responsive regulatory approach.
To determine parents’ and children's attitudes towards food, beverage and alcohol sponsorship of elite and children's sports and the acceptability of policies and alternative funding models to limit this sponsorship.
Telephone surveys were conducted with parents in February–May 2011. One child from each household was invited to complete an online survey. Surveys assessed parents’ perceptions about the influence of sponsorship on children and support for limiting sponsorship, and children's awareness of and attitudes towards sponsors.
Randomly sampled households in New South Wales, Australia.
Parents (n 825) and children aged 10–16 years (n 243).
Three-quarters of parents supported the introduction of policies to restrict unhealthy food, beverage and alcohol sponsorship of children's and elite sports. More parents (81 %) supported the introduction of alternative funding models to allow these companies to sponsor sport provided there was no visible branding. Two-thirds of children recalled sponsors of their favourite elite sports team/athlete, with 428 sponsors recalled. Of these, 11 % were food/beverage companies and 3 % were alcohol-related. For 39 % of sponsors, children reported feeling better about the company after it had sponsored a team/athlete.
Australian parents support restrictions on unhealthy food, beverage and alcohol sport sponsorship. Children's positive associations regarding sponsors are likely to be linked to brand preferences and usage.
To investigate nutrition literacy among adult grocery buyers regarding energy-related labelling terms on food packaging.
Qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys to determine shoppers’ understanding of energy terms (‘energy’, ‘calories’ and ‘kilojoules’) and how energy terms affect perceptions of healthiness and intentions to purchase breakfast cereals, muesli bars and frozen meals.
Individual in-depth interviews and surveys in two metropolitan supermarkets, Sydney, Australia.
Australian adults (interview n 40, survey n 405) aged 18–79 years.
The relationship between energy and perceived healthiness of food varied by product type: higher energy breakfast cereals were perceived to be healthier, while lower energy frozen meals were seen as healthier choices. Likewise, intentions to purchase the higher energy product varied according to product type. The primary reason stated for purchasing higher energy products was for sustained energy. Participants from households of lower socio-economic status were significantly more likely to perceive higher energy products as healthier. From the qualitative interviews, participants expressed uncertainty about their understanding of kilojoules, while only 40 % of participants in intercept surveys correctly answered that kilojoules and calories measured the same thing.
Australian consumers have a poor understanding of energy and kilojoules and tend to perceive higher energy products as healthier and providing sustained energy. This has implications regarding the usefulness of industry front-of-pack labelling initiatives and quick service restaurant menu labelling that provides information on energy content only. Comprehensive and widely communicated education campaigns will be essential to guide consumers towards healthier choices.