Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Suzanne E. Mazzeo, PhD


The current study evaluated the development and acceptability of a social marketing campaign to improve emerging adults’ fruit and vegetable (FV) intake. A social marketing campaign was developed through focus groups with 24 college students. Materials were implemented in two dining locations at Virginia Commonwealth University. Sales of carrots, apples, and chips were collected in three phases: baseline, implementation of the campaign, and washout. In addition, surveys were collected from 303 diners across all phases and locations. Results indicated an increase in carrot sales, decrease in sales of chips sold with a meal, and mixed findings regarding sales of apples and chips sold alone. Intercept surveys indicated the marketing materials were perceived positively, and clearly understood. Statistical analysis of self-report measures revealed that perceptions of one’s health status and autonomy were associated with fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and overall nutrition knowledge. The implementation of a social marketing campaign to encourage FV intake appeared to influence sales of both healthy and non-healthy food items. It is vital for future campaigns and policies to highlight autonomy for health behavior decision-making.


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Date of Submission