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Media Outlet and Consumer Reactions to Promotional Activities of the Choose Health LA Restaurants Program in Los Angeles County

Gase, Lauren N. MPH; Montes, Christine MPH; Robles, Brenda MPH; Tyree, Rachel MPH; Kuo, Tony MD, MSHS

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: May/June 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 3 - p 231–244
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000279
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Objective: This study sought to assess promotional activities undertaken to raise public awareness of the Choose Health LA Restaurants program in Los Angeles County, an environmental change strategy that recognizes restaurants for offering reduced-size and healthier menu options.

Design: We used multiple methods to assess public awareness of and reactions to the promotional activities, including an assessment of the reach of core promotional activities, a content analysis of earned media, and an Internet panel survey.

Setting: The study was conducted in Los Angeles County, home to more than 10 million residents.

Participants: An online survey firm recruited participants for an Internet panel survey; to facilitate generalization of results to the county's population, statistical weights were applied to analyses of the survey data.

Intervention: Promotional activities to raise awareness of the program included community engagement, in-store promotion, and a media campaign.

Main Outcome Measures: Outcomes included media impressions, the number of people who reported seeing the Choose Health LA Restaurants logo, and a description of the themes present in earned media.

Results: Collectively, paid media outlets reported 335 587 229 total impressions. The Internet panel survey showed that 12% of people reported seeing the program logo. Common themes in earned media included the Choose Health LA Restaurants program aims to provide restaurant patrons with more choices, represents a new opportunity for restaurants and public health to work together, will benefit participating restaurants, and will positively impact health.

Conclusions: Promotional activities for the Choose Health LA Restaurants program achieved modest reach and positive reactions from media outlets and consumers. The program strategy and lessons learned can help inform present and future efforts to combine environmental and individually focused strategies that target key influences of consumer food selection.

This article describes promotional activities undertaken to raise public awareness of the Choose Health LA Restaurants program, an environmental change strategy that recognizes restaurants for offering reduced-size and healthier menu options in Los Angeles County.

Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, California (Mss Gase, Montes, Robles, and Tyree and Dr Kuo); and Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California (Dr Kuo).

Correspondence: Lauren N. Gase, MPH, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 3530 Wilshire Blvd, 8th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (lgase@ph.lacounty.gov).

The project was supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (#1U58DP003631-01 and #1U58DP005509-01). The authors thank the Global Strategy Group for helping to conduct the Internet panel survey of Los Angeles County residents.

The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, or any agency mentioned in the text.

All authors report no conflicts of interest and have no financial disclosures.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.