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Evaluation of a Social Marketing Campaign Targeting Preschool Children

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Objectives :To determine the effectiveness of a pilot social marketing program to increase preschoolers' willingness to try new foods.

Methods : Four Head Start centers participated (2 experimental, 2 control) in a study using a quasi-experimental design. Experimental sites received a 12-week intervention developed using social marketing techniques. The program was evaluated via preference assessments, classroom observations, and teacher surveys.

Results : Increased preference for and willingness to try new foods were observed in children from the experimental sites (P<0.05). The program was positively received by Head Start staff.

Conclusions : A social marketing campaign is an effective method to reduce children's neophobia.

Keywords: Head Start; food preference; neophobia; preschooler; social marketing

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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