Media Outlet and Consumer Reactions to Promotional Activities of the Choose Health LA Restaurants Program in Los Angeles County

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Abstract

Objective:

This study sought to assess promotional activities undertaken to raise public awareness of the Choose Health LA Restaurants program in Los Angeles County, an environmental change strategy that recognizes restaurants for offering reduced-size and healthier menu options.

Design:

We used multiple methods to assess public awareness of and reactions to the promotional activities, including an assessment of the reach of core promotional activities, a content analysis of earned media, and an Internet panel survey.

Setting:

The study was conducted in Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million residents.

Participants:

An online survey firm recruited participants for an Internet panel survey; to facilitate generalization of results to the county's population, statistical weights were applied to analyses of the survey data.

Intervention:

Promotional activities to raise awareness of the program included community engagement, in-store promotion, and a media campaign.

Main Outcome Measures:

Outcomes included media impressions, the number of people who reported seeing the Choose Health LA Restaurants logo, and a description of the themes present in earned media.

Results:

Collectively, paid media outlets reported 335 587 229 total impressions. The Internet panel survey showed that 12% of people reported seeing the program logo. Common themes in earned media included the Choose Health LA Restaurants program aims to provide restaurant patrons with more choices, represents a new opportunity for restaurants and public health to work together, will benefit participating restaurants, and will positively impact health.

Conclusions:

Promotional activities for the Choose Health LA Restaurants program achieved modest reach and positive reactions from media outlets and consumers. The program strategy and lessons learned can help inform present and future efforts to combine environmental and individually focused strategies that target key influences of consumer food selection.

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