<em>Shape Up Australia</em>: The national obesity prevention social marketing initiative — ASN Events

Shape Up Australia: The national obesity prevention social marketing initiative (#12)

Cheryl Hutchins 1 , Helena Cataldo 1
  1. Australian National Preventive Health Agency, Canberra, ACT, Australia
This paper will present the results of developmental research undertaken to inform Shape Up Australia the new national obesity initiative. The results provide significant insights into specific attitudes and behaviours that contribute to overweight and obesity as well as revealing Australians’ attitudes to obesity interventions, including government regulation. Qualitative research using ethnographic methods was undertaken in 2012 and used to inform a range of questions that were investigated more widely through a national online survey of 3,400 individuals aged 18-64 years in early 2013. The results include a segmentation model of the Australian population by attitude and behaviour. The model enables those working in a preventive health field to better understand different groups within the community and tailor their efforts to local needs and attitudes.

Consumer messaging based on the above research was developed and tested across five topics: active living, healthy weight, kilojoules, portion control, and sugar sweetened drinks. The results provide an indication of how best to position messaging on these topics from both a message content spectrum of negative and positive motivation (vs challenge) and from a rational vs emotive tonal approach. The messages developed have broad application across a variety of social marketing, health education and programs aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity to adults in Australia.

Shape Up Australia is an initiative that is intended to bring together government and non-government obesity prevention actions under a common umbrella. It aims to drive consumers towards credible, evidence based healthy eating and physical activity information, services and programs and address consumer confusion by facilitating nationally consistent healthy lifestyle messaging.