Better obesity knowledge, healthier food choice? Examining the moderating role of HNR claims in food advertisements

Paper accepted to present at the 71st Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, May 27-31, 2021.

Abstract: A conditional process model for the impact of obesity knowledge on healthy food choice was proposed to examine how consumers’ obesity knowledge and online search for nutritional information (OSNI) in food products jointly influenced their healthy food choice (HFC) and whether consumers’ attitude toward health and nutrition-related (HNR) claims in food advertisement directly or indirectly affected their HFC. Results confirmed that OSNI in food products mediated the impact of obesity knowledge on HFC. The extent to which consumers’ obesity knowledge influenced their HFC depended on consumers’ attitude toward HNR claims in food advertisements. Moreover, the conditional direct and indirect effects of consumers’ obesity knowledge on their HFC were moderated by their attitude toward HNR claims in food advertisements. The study offers both theoretical and practical insights into the dynamic effects on HFC via HNR claims in food advertisements.

Juan Meng 

Related Research


Beyond Fear Appeals: The Role of Hope in Improving Effectiveness of Health Messages.” Paper accepted for poster by Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk Division

Abstract: One of the understudied areas in health communication research is hope. This study examines the effect of efficacy-inducing information on hope and subsequent attitudinal health behaviors. A total of five hundred fifty-three adults in the United States read health promotion social media posts designed to induce perceived self-efficacy (vs. non-efficacy-inducing health information) in fear-appeal […]

Bartosz WojdynskiYoungji SeoJeongHyun (Janice) Lee
read more
Effective Health Risk Communications: Lessons Learned about COVID-19 Pandemic through the Lens of Practitioners

Abstract: The study utilizes semi-structured interviews of health risk communication practitioners in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The contingency theory of strategic conflict management is the guide to understanding the challenges and nuances. Insights gained from interviewing practitioners (projected, n=40) from different sectors with diverse professional backgrounds will help advance the contingency theory’s application […]

Yan JinTaylor Voges
read more