What am I eating? the use of health and environmental messages in predicting a sustainable diet

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Communication


Advisor: Teresa L. Thompson


This study examines 161 participants' behavior change in regard to purchasing organic and/or local foods after message exposure. Although much health research and environmental research exist, no research has combined these fields and applied them to behavior change. Participants were exposed to a health message, an environmental message, or a combined health and environmental message. Using the theory of planned behavior as the theoretical foundation, participants' attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and behavioral intention were also used as prediction measures for behavior change. Participant cognitions were also coded through a thought-listing measure. The results of this study reveal that participant attitudes, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control all predicted behavioral intention; however, these individual variables did not predict actual behavior. Participant cognitions were found to be reflective of the message type that was read. Additionally, while both political preference and age individually and in interaction with message type influenced behavior, sex individually and in interaction with message type did not.


Consumer behavior Attitudes Case studies, Marketing Psychological aspects Case studies, Green marketing Case studies, Health behavior Case studies

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2011, author