Association of the LiveLighter mass media campaign with consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages: Cohort study

Health Promot J Austr. 2019 Dec;30 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):34-42. doi: 10.1002/hpja.244. Epub 2019 Apr 4.


Issue addressed: Evaluation of the behavioural impact of Western Australia's LiveLighter healthy weight and lifestyle campaign focussed on decreasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) using graphic imagery, as well as monitoring unintended consequences.

Methods: A cohort design with pre-campaign telephone survey of Western Australian adults aged 25-49 (Time 1 May/Jun 2013: N = 1504) undertaken and repeated following the campaign (Time 2 Aug/Sep 2013: N = 822).

Results: Post-campaign awareness was 67% with respondents in low socio-economic areas most likely to report viewing the campaign frequently. There was evidence of reduced SSB intake from baseline to follow-up among frequent (4+/week) SSB consumers (22% cf. 16%; P = 0.003) and some evidence among overweight (BMI 25+) weekly SSB consumers (56% cf. 48%; P = 0.013). There was also some evidence consumption of sweet food decreased (3+/week: 53% cf. 48%; P = 0.035) while fruit, vegetable and fast food consumption remained stable. Knowledge of potential health consequences of SSBs increased (70% cf. 82%; P < 0.001) with no change in knowledge of potential health consequences of overweight generally (86% cf. 89%). Importantly, there was no increase in endorsement of overweight stereotypes.

Conclusions: The LiveLighter "Sugary Drinks" campaign positively impacted adults' knowledge and behaviour with regard to SSB consumption in a pattern specific to the campaign messaging and without adverse impact on weight-related stereotypes. SO WHAT?: Findings support the use of mass media for healthy lifestyle change. They suggest the public are receptive to undertaking the campaign's simple concrete lifestyle recommendation and provide an indication of the campaign dose required to achieve positive behaviour change.

Keywords: Australia; health behaviours; mass media; obesity; sugar-sweetened beverages; sugary drinks.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet / standards*
  • Fast Foods / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Food Labeling
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Mass Media*
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Western Australia