Session 5: Nutrition communication: The challenge of effective food risk communication



McGloin A, Delaney L, Hudson E & Wall P (2009) Session 5: Nutrition communication: The challenge of effective food risk communication. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 68 (2), pp. 135-141.

A chronology of food scares combined with a rapid, unchecked, rise in lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity highlights the need for a focus on effective food risk communication. However, food risk communication is highly complex. Many factors will affect its success, including the demeanour and conduct of the source, its transparency, interaction with the public, acknowledgement of risks and timely disclosure. How the message is developed is also important in terms of language, style and pretesting with target audiences, as is the choice of appropriate channels for reaching target audiences. Finally, there are many personal factors that may affect risk perception such as previous experience, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, personality, psychological factors and socio-demographic factors, many of which remain unexplored. While there is evidence that campaigns that communicate health risk have been associated with behaviour change in relation to major public health and safety issues in the past, it is unknown at this stage whether targeting risk information based on risk-perception segmentation can increase the effectiveness of the messages.

Risk communication; Risk perception; Audience segmentation

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society: Volume 68, Issue 2

Publication date31/05/2009
PublisherCambridge University Press for the Nutrition Society