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Does Advertising Content Matter? Impacts of Healthy Eating and Anti-Obesity Advertising on Willingness to Pay by Consumer Body Mass Index

  • Ruitong Wang, Jura Liaukonyte and Harry M. Kaiser
Abstract

This study examines the impacts of two types of advertising content—healthy eating and anti-obesity advertising—on the demand for healthy and unhealthy food and beverage items. We show that differentiating consumers by weight is crucial in fully understanding the effects of advertising content on food and beverage demand. We find that among overweight individuals, anti-obesity advertisements are more effective than healthy eating advertisements at reducing the demand for unhealthy items and increasing the demand for healthy items. Furthermore, the magnitude of this effect increases with BMI. We discuss possible explanations and policy implications based on our results.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Jura Liaukonyte ■ Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ■Cornell University ■ Ithaca ■ NY 14853 340 Warren Hall ■ Phone 607.255.6328 ■ Email Jurate@cornell.edu
Footnotes
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Senior authorship is shared equally among the three authors. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not necessarily represent the policies or views of any sponsoring agencies. This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch under 1003974.

Footnotes
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