Digital food marketing

Project Title: The digital food marketing environment


Young adults experience the fastest rates of weight gain across the life course, and most of the increase in prevalence of overweight and obesity in Singapore can be attributed to younger adults. The food marketing environment has been identified as one of the main drivers of the obesity epidemic, therefore there is an urgent need to develop approaches to measure exposure to food marketing and its effects, in order to inform development of effective counter strategies. On average, Singapore adults spend 6.5 hours a day using the internet. Industry expenditure on digital advertising is rising, and it is likely that young adults are the most susceptible group, with their high internet use and higher vulnerability to branding and marketing than other age groups.

Project aims

This study has two primary aims:

  1. To characterize the nature of online food/beverage marketing techniques using a standardized protocol and leverage on ecological momentary assessment using modern smartphone technologies to assess the feasibility of quantifying exposure to food/beverage brands/messages
  2. To assess the feasibility of exploring in a larger study, the associations of exposure to various methods of advertising with behaviours, affective states, geographical locations, and the interaction with eating behaviour tendencies.

This study will provide new information on the food marketing environment in Singapore and provide insight into the extent of exposure in young adults. It will also inform future study of the impacts of exposure, which is vital in developing effective interventions.

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Last updated Feb 19, 2019