Relationship between Children's BMI and Parents' Preferences for Kids' Yogurts with and without Front of Package Health Signals

Gregory Colson, Carola Grebitus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Childhood obesity has emerged as a critical national policy issue in many countries. One challenge in combating childhood obesity via induced shifts toward a healthier diet is that the majority of food consumed by younger children is purchased or prepared by someone else, i.e., a parent. Hence, it is critical to design initiatives and marketing efforts aimed at affecting parents' purchases of healthy foods for their children. In this study, we focus on the potential of front-of-package health labels specifically designed to signal to parents those foods that are healthy for children. We report results of a choice experiment administered to 733 parents. In the experiments, branded and unbranded yogurts marketed to children are considered with different health labels. In our analysis, we control for the child's body mass index (BMI) to assess how labels affect parents' food choices in the context of varying BMI data for the children. We also include whether parents worried about their children's eating patterns react differently to the labeling. Results from two multinomial logit models indicate that parents prefer and are more likely to purchase yogurts with a label denoting the food is a healthy choice for children. Critically, we find parents with children who are overweight or obese, and hence already in the high-risk category due to their body weight, are most affected by the labels. Overall, results indicate that health labels can be an effective signal and marketing effort to nudge parents of overweight or obese children toward healthier food purchase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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