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Reducing consumption of confectionery foods: a post-hoc segmentation analysis using a social cognition approach.

Naughton, Paul; McCarthy, Mary; McCarthy, Sin�ad


Mary McCarthy

Sin�ad McCarthy


Considering confectionary consumption behaviour this cross-sectional study used social cognition variables to identify distinct segments in terms of their motivation and efforts to decrease their consumption of such foods with the aim of informing targeted social marketing campaigns. Using Latent Class analysis on a sample of 500 adults four segments were identified: unmotivated, triers, successful actors, and thrivers. The unmotivated and triers segments reported low levels of perceived need and perceived behavioural control (PBC) in addition to high levels of habit and hedonic hunger with regards their consumption of confectionery foods. Being a younger adult was associated with higher odds of being in the unmotivated and triers segments and being female was associated with higher odds of being in the triers and successful actors segments. The findings indicate that in the absence of strong commitment to eating low amounts of confectionery foods (i.e. perceived need) people will continue to overconsume free sugars regardless of motivation to change. It is therefore necessary to identify relevant messages or ‘triggers’ related to sugar consumption that resonate with young adults in particular. For those motivated to change, counteracting unhealthy eating habits and the effects of hedonic hunger may necessitate changes to food environments in order to make the healthy choice more appealing and accessible.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 27, 2017
Publication Date Oct 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 4, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2018
Journal Appetite
Print ISSN 0195-6663
Electronic ISSN 1095-8304
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 117
Issue 1
Pages 168-178
Keywords Healthy Eating, Sugar, Social Marketing, Social Cognition Models, Audience Segmentation,
Public URL
Contract Date Jul 4, 2017


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