Promoting Sustainable Lifestyle Habits: "Real Food" and Social Media in Spain

Foods. 2022 Jan 14;11(2):224. doi: 10.3390/foods11020224.


Obesity and state of being overweight are beginning to be treated as global epidemics. In this context, health professionals are increasingly acting as expert opinion leaders that use social media to connect with the public, in order to promote healthy lifestyles and provide specific recommendations for different product categories, including fresh, processed, and ultra-processed meat products. This study investigates how exposure to content created by health professionals, and posted on social media, influences consumers' attitudes. For this purpose, the collaboration of one relevant nutritionist influencer in Spain has been obtained. The online survey created has provided 4.584 responses, received from followers (from May to June 2019). After applying a partial least squares path modeling approach, the results suggest that trust in the content shared, the perceived credibility of the professional sharing the information and the informative value, determine the strength with which consumers acquire more knowledge about endorsed products, develop a favorable predisposition towards them, prefer them over their options, and modify their behaviour by purchasing them, instead of their usual foods. The link is stronger, in the case of trust and influencer's credibility, than for informative value. However, the latter has an indirect effect on the attitude phases through the former.

Keywords: consumer perceptions; healthy properties; marketing in foods; meat food; real food; social media.