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Beyond Body Weight: Design and Validation of Psycho-Behavioural Living and Eating for Health Segments (LEHS) Profiles for Social Marketing

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Authors: Linda Brennan, Shinyi Chin, Annika Molenaar, Amy M. Barklamb, Megan SC Lim, Mike Reid, Helen Truby, Eva L. Jenkins and Tracy A. McCaffrey.

Background: Obesity, sedentary behaviour, and poor dietary habits amongst young adults are growing concerns, with this age group being in a worse state of health and nutrition than adolescents and adults. This paper presents the procedures for establishing a new instrument for defining behaviours in relation to healthy lifestyle and food choices amongst young adults (Living and Eating for Health Segments: LEHS).

Aim: The aim of this paper is to outline the instrument design protocol for external validation and to permit replication in other studies.

Methods: The instrument design process used a multi-step social marketing instrument design method. This approach has previously been used in designing valid and reliable measures in marketing and consumer research, including social marketing.

Results: The protocol established six psycho-behavioural LEHS profiles for young adults. These profiles are: Lifestyle Mavens (15.4%), Aspirational Healthy Eaters (27.5%), Balanced-all Rounders (21.4%), Health Conscious (21.1%), Contemplating Another Day (11.2%), and Blissfully Unconcerned (3.4%).

Conclusions: Each of these profiles provided insights into psycho-behavioural characteristics that can be used in designing apposite social media social marketing campaigns.

Keywords: Social marketing; social media; healthy eating; young adults; obesity prevention; instrument development.