A Social Marketing Approach to 1% Milk Use: Resonance Is the Key


Finnell, K.J.; John, R.


The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend low-fat milk consumption, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) programs follow these guidelines to develop health education programs for SNAP recipients. This study evaluated a multilevel media intervention promoting low-fat milk use among Oklahoma SNAP recipients, a population often missed. Behavior change was measured with pre- and postintervention telephone interviews with SNAP recipients (n = 860). Immediately following the intervention, self-reported purchases of 1% milk, the focus of behavior change, significantly increased to 7.9% from 4.1%—a relative improvement of 92.7%, χ2(1, n = 824) = 5.8, p =.02. Milk nutrition knowledge scores significantly improved as well, t(846) = 2.9, p =.004, and low-fat milk users exhibited more milk nutrition knowledge than high-fat milk users, t(437) = 4.0, p =.000. The intervention, which resonated with the priority audience, was well received (Mdn = 6, 1, 7). Factors contributing to its success included a gain-based message strategy and clearly articulating the desired behavior. Salient messages personalized the issues and concerns raised by the priority audience—all the vitamins and minerals without the fat. Findings suggest that matching gender and ethnicity mediated the effect among those most resistant to substituting low-fat for high-fat milk. © 2017, © 2017 Society for Public Health Education.


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