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700. Getting the Message Across: Outcomes and Risk Profiles by Awareness Levels of the “Measure-Up” Obesity Prevention Campaign in Australia

Research Article
Anne C. Grunseit, Blythe J. O’Hara, Josephine Y. Chau, Megan Briggs, Adrian E. Bauman
May 2015

Commentary: Bethany Walker, GlobalPANet Executive, National Heart Foundation, Australia

This article examines ‘Measure Up’, a mass media campaign to reduce lifestyle related chronic disease. It looks at the impact of the campaign and compares, for the first time, demographic profiles of unprompted campaign recallers with prompted recallers and those with no campaign recall. The current analysis also determines if a dose-response relationship exists with level of recall and change in knowledge, behaviour and attitude and examines the risk profile of recallerson-recallers indicating whether the campaign reached those most in need.

The primary and secondary target audience of the campaign, those aged 25-45 years and 45-65 years respectively, were randomly selected for a national cross-sectional telephone survey (n=2812). Questions in the survey covered campaign recall, diet, physical activity, waist measurement knowledge, behaviours and intention to improve their lifestyle habits. Campaign recall was divided into three groups: unprompted recall (41%), prompted recall (46%) and no recall or recognition of the campaign (13%).  Demographics, knowledge and behaviour risk factors for obesity and chronic disease were compared amongst the three groups.

Overall there were significant differences between the recall groups. Unprompted Recallers were more likely to speak English at home (p<0.001), be a part of the primary target group (p<0.001) and less likely to belong to the secondary target group when compared to the other two groups. Unprompted Recallers were more likely to be university educated and female than the Promoted group but not the No Recall group (p=0.001). There was no significant difference between employment and income amongst groups. The Unprompted Recallers had higher knowledge about campaign messages than both other groups and the two recall groups showed stronger signs of behaviour change and intention to change than the No Recall group. The No Recall group was significantly less overweight/obese than the Umprompted and Prompted Recallers (46%, 55%, 54% respectively). 

Both prompted and unprompted recall was high for the campaign both in metro and regional areas at almost 87%, demonstrating the effectiveness and potential reach of mass media campaigns. ‘Measure-Up’ is a great example of how targeted messaging to a particular audience can be successful as those with greater recall were of higher risk profiles.  Recent obesity campaigns have highlighted the impact of social media in getting the campaign messages across and further research is needed to assess the broader value of social marketing into the obesity space. 

Source: PLoS ONE, 2015, 10(4): e0121387. Access to this article will depend on your institutional rights. Click here to access the full article.