Associations between conflicting nutrition information, nutrition confusion and backlash among consumers in the UK

Vijaykumar, Santosh, Mcneill, Andrew and Simpson, Josh (2021) Associations between conflicting nutrition information, nutrition confusion and backlash among consumers in the UK. Public Health Nutrition, 24 (5). pp. 914-923. ISSN 1368-9800

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To examine the effects of exposure to conflicting nutritional information (CNI) through different forms of media on nutrition-related confusion and backlash among consumers in the United Kingdom.

Cross-sectional survey administered via Qualtrics among 18-75 year-old participants in the UK. The sample was stratified by age and gender with quotas defined according to the 2011 UK census distribution.

Qualtrics’ Online panel of respondents in the United Kingdom

676 participants comprising nearly an equal number of females (n=341) and males (n=335) and a majority (58.6%) from households whose income was less than £30,000.

Our findings showed that nearly 40% of respondents were exposed to some or a lot of CNI. We found that while exposure to CNI from TV and online news increased nutrition confusion, CNI from health professionals increased backlash. Exposure to CNI from social media and health websites was associated with reduced backlash. We also found that nutrition confusion and backlash were negatively associated with exercise behavior and fruit and vegetable consumption respectively.

Our study supports the theoretical pathways that explain the influence of CNI exposure on nutrition-related cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Additionally, different types of online information sources are associated with these outcomes to varying degrees. In the context of obesity and diabetes rates in the UK, our findings call for a) further experimental research into the effects of CNI on consumers’ diet-related cognitions and behaviors, and b) multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary approaches to address this problem.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This project was funded by the Consumer Data Research Centre, an ESRC Data Investment, under project ID CDRC 085, ES/L011840/1; ES/L011891/1.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nutrition, Media, Conflicting information, News, Confusion, Backlash, Survey
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
C800 Psychology
N500 Marketing
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2021 14:28
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 10:15

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