Health claim perception was investigated by a web-based instrument with a sample of 4,612 respondents in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). Respondents decided which of a pair of claims sounded better, was easier to understand and was more convincing in their opinion. Claims were constructed from an underlying universe combining different active ingredients (familiar, unfamiliar), type of claim (combination of information about ingredient, physiological function and health benefit), framing (positive, negative), and use of qualifier (with, without “may”). Across pairs, the claims differed in the health benefit addressed (cardiovascular health, dementia, bodyweight). Results showed that respondents could be grouped into two roughly equally sized classes that differed in the type of claim preferred: one class prefers “long” claims that give the full story consisting of active ingredient, physiological function and health benefit, whereas the other prefers “short” claims consisting of the health benefit only. Results also showed that the familiar ingredient is preferred to the unfamiliar one, whereas effects of positive versus negative framing depended on the type of health benefit addressed.
- Health claims
- healthy eating