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Promote healthy eating among adolescents: a Hong Kong study

Kara Chan (Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Lennon Tsang (Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The objective of the study is to use the constructs in the theory of planned behavior and advertising intervention to predict adolescents' intention for healthy eating.


A convenience sample survey of 570 secondary school students aged 11 to 19 studying in Form 1 (equivalent to Grade 7) to Form 5 (equivalent to Grade 11) was conducted in Hong Kong.


Perceived behavior control was the most important factor in predicting behavioral intention for healthy eating, followed by attitude toward healthy eating and subjective norms. Perceived behavior control, attitude and subjective norms together explained 45 percent of the variance of behavioral intention. Respondents' attitudes towards advertisement advocating healthy eating had high positive correlation with attitudes toward healthy eating.

Research limitations/implications

First, the sample was not a probability sample. Second, the data were collected through face‐to‐face interviews and respondents may tend to give socially desirable answers to the questions.

Practical implications

Hong Kong adolescents found healthy eating beneficial and desirable, but boring and not‐enjoyable. Future health promotion campaigns should put emphasis on the fun and enjoyable attributes of healthy eating. As perceived norms were sourced from the government and the family, health campaigns should continue to communicate the positive value of healthy eating to the family, and the society.


The current study is the first to adopt the theory of planned behavior and the advertising intervention to predict the effects on healthy eating in a Chinese society.



Chan, K. and Tsang, L. (2011), "Promote healthy eating among adolescents: a Hong Kong study", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 354-362.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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