This study explores cross cultural differences in the perceptions of healthy eating, contexts where healthy or unhealthy eating are practiced, and consumer evaluation of regulatory measures that discourage the consumption of unhealthy foods such as soft drinks. A survey was conducted of 386 Danish and Chinese adolescents using a structured questionnaire. Results showed that perceptions of healthy eating were generally based on concepts such as balance and moderation. Unhealthy eating was most frequently practiced at parties and in festive periods. Hong Kong respondents were more likely to associate eating habits with healthy eating than Danish respondents. Danish respondents were more likely to practice healthy eating at schools than Hong Kong respondents. Making tanks of cold water freely available everywhere was perceived to be most effective in discouraging the consumption of soft drink. Danish respondents were found to be more collective while Hong Kong respondents were found to be more individualistic. There were age and gender differences in perceived effectiveness of the regulatory measures that discourage the consumption of unhealthy food. Respondents' individualism/collectivism scores were related with their perception of effectiveness of the regulatory measures. The study can serve as a guideline for social services marketing professionals targeting adolescents.
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American Academy of Advertising 2010 European Conference