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Crafting a healthier future: exploring the nexus of product design, digital innovations and dynamic marketing for obesity prevention. A literature review

Alessandro Giannattasio (Ionian Department of Law, Economics and Environment, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Taranto, Italy)
Andrea Sestino (Department of Economics and Management, Faculty of Economics, Medicine and Surgery, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy) (Department of Management, LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome, Italy)
Gabriele Baima (Department of Management Walter Cantino, Universita degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 May 2024

Issue publication date: 17 June 2024




The current work aims to present a review of academic literature that systematizes the body of knowledge related to marketing and consumer behavior in order to identify the most effective variables that encourage the consumer towards a proper and better lifestyle, accordingly the paradigm of management, marketing and technology efforts to promote a “better” society preventing obesity.


A literature review was carried out to examine the studies of marketing and consumer behavior published in international peer-reviewed journals over the last twenty-three years (2000–2023). Our review finally considered a total amount of 46 articles.


Findings elucidate three overarching themes and associated sub-hemes, encompassing: (1) Product design for obesity prevention, including aspects such as labeling, nomenclature, packaging and assortment; (2) Technology-supported preventive measures, involving mobile applications, self-monitoring, short message services and digital therapeutics; and (3) Marketing and communication strategies, incorporating social advertising, nudge, social influence and initiatives targeting childhood obesity prevention. Furthermore, a comprehensive research agenda is presented, delineating potential avenues for future investigations predicated on the utility of the results in fostering subsequent endeavors within the realms of: efficacy and effectiveness studies; personalization and tailoring; behavioral change techniques and gamification; user experience and acceptance; cost-effectiveness and implementation; as well as ethical and privacy concerns.

Research limitations/implications

Main limitations are related to the characteristics of the analyzed literature, resulting in only English journal articles, book chapter and so on. Thus, other relevant contributions in different languages discussing interesting insights might have been neglected.

Practical implications

This study offers several insights to managers, marketers and policymakers involved in the issue of the obesity prevention. Since obesity represents a crucial challenge for public health at a global level, with its incidence reaching epidemic proportions in recent decades, the results may be extremely useful and powerful because suggesting – by employing a robust resulting corpus of knowledge on this domain – several practical features, actions and tactics to face such an important challenge. Moreover, this paper offers for scholar and researcher a systematized knowledge around the issues of obesity prevention, together with a detailed research agenda emerging by the critical analysis of the emerging insights, and to practitioners systematized useful insights to project and develop their future business strategies.

Social implications

By providing several actions and tactics for obesity prevention (e.g. as for product labeling, naming, packaging, assortment; the exploitation of new technologies for mobile applications design, self-monitoring, short message service (SMS) alert systems, digital therapeutics; the role of social advertising, nudge, social influence) this work perfectly match the emerging societal orientation related to business, marketing and technology efforts to create a “better” society.


The study shed lights the need for a holistic approach to obesity prevention, involving interaction between individual main topics. Importantly this is the first study to analyze the issue of obesity prevention by considering a multidisciplinary corpus of literature, analyzed trough an individual-centric orientation.



Giannattasio, A., Sestino, A. and Baima, G. (2024), "Crafting a healthier future: exploring the nexus of product design, digital innovations and dynamic marketing for obesity prevention. A literature review", British Food Journal, Vol. 126 No. 7, pp. 2668-2685.



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