Online Program

Reducing the purchase and consumption of sugary beverages in howard county, MD: A web-based tool for parents

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Meghan Sansivero, MPH, Behavior Change Marketing, Salter Mitchell, Alexandria, VA
Peter Mitchell, SalterMitchell, Alexandria, VA
Karen Ong, SalterMitchell, Alexandria, VA
Sugar-sweetened beverages are now a staple of the American diet, and are one of the biggest factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. The challenge was to help the Horizon Foundation and a local strategic communications firm reverse the obesity trend in Maryland's Howard County, population 300,000, situated between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD. In response, we decided to build and promote a Better Beverage Finder, an online and mobile platform that allows users to sort through more than 300 healthy beverages sorted by beverage type, sweetener, suitability for children and presence of caffeine. The approach was to reveal a visible, emerging norm of moms unwilling to give children sugary drinks, and make it easier for every parent to do so (efficacy) by offering them a taste of more attractive choices. The Better Beverage Finder content was populated using online search engines to discover beverages that meet expert nutritional guidelines and that are sold in Howard County. The Better Beverage Finder launched under the ‘Howard County Unsweetened' campaign, which includes a separate advocacy component, in December 2012. The campaign websites featuring the Better Beverage Finder received over 9,000 visits during the first six months of the campaign. The impact evaluation component for the Better Beverage Finder, which will include intercept interviews at central locations, will take place in the fall of 2013 after the first year of implementation. A larger campaign evaluation measuring trends in beverage purchases, consumption and obesity will also be conducted.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss strategies for creating multimedia tools that make it easier for people to make healthy choices.

Keyword(s): Social Marketing, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a coordinator and student of public health, I was responsible for the developing part of the content for the website. The tool describes is a part of the ongoing social marketing campaign that I now coordinate.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Horizon Foundation Health & Wellness Consultant

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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