Consumer Perceptions of Health Claims in Advertisements and on Food Labels

Authors

  • MICHAEL B. MAZIS,

    1. Michael B. Mazis is Professor and Mary Anne Raymond is Scholar-in-Residence, Marketing Department, Kogod College of Business Administration, American University, Washington, DC.
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  • MARY ANNE RAYMOND

    1. Michael B. Mazis is Professor and Mary Anne Raymond is Scholar-in-Residence, Marketing Department, Kogod College of Business Administration, American University, Washington, DC.
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  • Financial support for the data collection was provided by the Center for Marketing Policy Research, American University. The editor and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Abstract

It has been hypothesized that consumers are more skeptical of health claims made in food ads than of health claims made on food labels. Therefore, the current research explores consumers' skepticism of health claims when the source of such claims is identified as a food ad or a food label. The study also examines whether consumers' beliefs are affected by nutrition information on food labels and whether health claims that have been challenged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and by consumer groups are more likely to affect consumers' beliefs than are unchallenged health claims. The findings have implications for understanding the role of education in reducing consumer misperceptions of health claims.

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