Learning from Social Marketing: Living and Eating for Health Segments (LEHS) and Social Media Use
Presented at the American Society for Nutrition conference in Baltimore, Maryland, June 8-11 2019
Authors: Mike Reid, Shinyi Chin, Annika Molenaar, Linda Brennan, Helen Truby & Tracy McCaffrey
Objectives: Behavior change in young adults (YA) is notoriously difficult. Psycho-behavioral segmentation, used by marketing, may be more effective to foster change than grouping by demographic characteristics alone. The aim was to determine whether previously developed Living and Eating for Health Segments (LEHS) were applicable in a nationally representative sample of 18–24 yr olds.
Methods: YA were asked to select one of six LEHS: Lifestyle Mavens (LM), Health Conscious (HC), Aspirational Healthy Eaters (AHE), Balanced All-Rounders (BAR), Contemplating Another Day (CAD), Blissfully Unconcerned (BU) and answer demographic and SM usage questions.
Results: Approximately 64% (n = 2019) of YA completed the survey, mean age of 21 (SD ± 2), mostly healthy weight (54.6%), females (51.8%), with 2.0% identifying as non-binary/gender fluid. All LEHS were selected: LM = 15.4% were primarily males (62%); HC = 21.1% slightly more males 54%; AHE = 27.5%, were predominately females (61%); BAR = 21.4% higher prevalence of females (62%); CAD = 11.2% slightly more females (51.8%); BU = 3.4% slightly more males 56.5% with 4.3% identifying as non-binary. All LEHS agreed the internet was ‘helpful to see other people's health-related experiences’ (61.1% to 91.8%). All segments apart from BU were intending to search online for health/food information over the next month. SM platform usage varied by LEHS: highest users were AHE, with extensive use of Facebook (40.8%), YouTube (45.9%) Instagram (43.2%) Snapchat (34%) and Spotify (35.3%) on Apple devices (48.1%). CAD (48.7%) reported using YouTube extensively and were the highest (17.7%) to report not using Instagram. BAR were most likely to use laptops (44.2%) with extensive use of Facebook (39.2%) but did not use Twitter (56.0%). BU were more likely to report not using Snapchat (29.4%), Spotify (35.3%) and Apple devices (40.6%), but were the most extensive users of Android Smartphones (37.7%).
Conclusions: Enabling YA to self-nominate into segments forces researchers to challenge existing stereotypes and assumptions about young adults perceptions and behaviors. Continued analysis will further explore how effective interventions and SM campaigns might be co-designed.