This project will focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of messaging designed to increase the availability and selection of healthier restaurant dining choices and positively impact public health. During Phase I, communication specialists will assist in developing effective messages that will (1) attract restaurants to provide and promote healthier choices, and (2) entice the public to choose the healthier restaurant meals. The messages will be tested and evaluated in focus groups of consumers and restaurant operators, and in anonymous online consumer surveys. During Phase II, the project will be expanded to (1) refine and expand the messaging, (2) implement the messages within a group of """"""""test"""""""" restaurants, (3) incorporate the messages in a marketing campaign to attract consumers to the restaurants, and (4) test the effectiveness of the messages with quantitative measurements of sales data and diner surveys in restaurants. Research will involve multiple """"""""targets"""""""" (restaurants, consumers, media, and health educators) and will include diverse populations. 1
Communication Strategies and Messaging to Improve Dietary Behavior when Eating Away from Home Relevance: Obesity and poor nutrition contribute significantly to four of the ten leading causes of death in the United States (cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes) and cost an estimated $200 billion in health care costs each year. The fact that Americans are eating restaurant-prepared foods four to five times per week, along with the fact that restaurant meals tend to be less healthful and larger than meals prepared at home, contribute significantly to the health problems stated above. Therefore, it is increasingly important for overall public health that restaurants provide and promote healthier meals, and that Americans be able to identify and choose these meals when dining out.