Lauren Rickert: PSAs Reducing Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption
From Emily Bush-Clark on April 14th, 2020
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Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) are drinks such as sodas, sport drinks, and teas and coffees that have added sugars or sweeteners. Added sugars include: corn syrup, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, and there are many other forms as well.
It is important to bring awareness to Americans about the dangers and health consequences of overconsuming SSB. Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, heart and kidney diseases, are a few of the negative health outcomes that are associated with SSB. These health consequences develop over a lifetime, and children and young adults are not able to see the long-term effects immediately.
Mass media campaigns have been created to raise awareness about limiting SSB consumption, which influences the conversations consumers have with each other. We know that personal risk can be lowered through mass media channels, and interpersonal communication leads to decreases in the social-level risk judgement. What is not known is how mass media and interpersonal communication work together. We hypothesized that the more interpersonal communication the participants have, the more effective the mass media message was.
The PSAs we used in the research labs were designed for parents and young adults, so they could understand the consequences of overconsuming SSB. These videos provided the opportunity for the audience to see the long-term effects of drinking sugary drinks and to get the audience to think about how SSB can impact their future health.
During the fall semester we looked at how interpersonal communication effects SSB consumption. This spring semester we tested if both interpersonal communication and the quality of the PSA had an effect on consumption. The data from the fall semester shows that the condition which participants were told to reach an agreement together to evaluate the PSAs (the AI condition), had the largest mean of change on the reduction of SSB consumed.