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Obesity, family units and social marketing intervention: evidence from Nigeria

Arinze Christian Nwoba (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Emmanuel Mogaji (Greenwich Business School, University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Nadia Zahoor (The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK and Department of School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK)
Francis Donbesuur (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Gazi Mahabubul Alam (Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 12 August 2022

Issue publication date: 30 November 2022

282

Abstract

Purpose

Building on the social marketing theory, this study aims to examine the relationship between family units and obesity in Nigeria; and the social marketing interventions used to reduce and prevent obesity in the Nigerian society.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a semi-structured interview research design with 42 obese individuals in Nigeria.

Findings

The study findings show that the family unit an individual grows up in influences their consumption behaviour, which drives their obesity. The findings reveal that obese Nigerian citizens are willing to live a healthier lifestyle due to the direct and indirect medical costs associated with obesity. Furthermore, the findings disclose the social marketing interventions – local celebrity endorsements, healthy lifestyle promotions, reduced gym membership and affordable access to healthy foods and services – used to prevent and reduce the rising obesity rates in the Nigerian society.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have important theoretical implication given the focus on consumption behaviour and obesity.

Practical implications

The study findings provide an avenue to guide government officials, policymakers and social marketers in shaping their public policy and social marketing interventions to encourage healthier consumption and lifestyle behaviours among families and individuals in the Nigerian society.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research study to investigate how family units in the emerging market of sub-Saharan Africa drive obesity and the social marketing interventions used to reduce and prevent obesity. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge funding from the Marketing Research Group at Greenwich Business School, University of Greenwich for data collection.

Citation

Nwoba, A.C., Mogaji, E., Zahoor, N., Donbesuur, F. and Alam, G.M. (2022), "Obesity, family units and social marketing intervention: evidence from Nigeria", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 56 No. 11, pp. 2892-2927. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-08-2021-0662

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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