Parents’ awareness and perceptions of the Change4Life 100 cal snack campaign, and perceived impact on snack consumption by children under 11 years

Rhiannon E. Day, Gemma Bridge, Kate Austin, Hannah Ensaff, Meaghan S. Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Childhood obesity is a pertinent public health problem in the UK. Consumption of free sugars has been associated with the development of obesity. In 2018, the Change 4Life (C4L) 100 cal snack campaign was launched with the slogan ‘100 calorie snacks, two a day max’, aiming to encourage parents to choose lower sugar, fat and calorie snacks for their children. This study aimed to examine how the campaign has been perceived by parents. Methods: An online survey was developed to explore parent awareness, perceptions and understanding of the C4L 100 cal snack campaign. Respondents were recruited via Leeds City Council, posters displayed at primary schools and children’s centres across Leeds and via social media. Paper surveys were also shared with voluntarily led playgroups. Survey data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Thematic analysis was performed on open text responses. Results: Three hundred forty-two 342 respondents completed the survey. Just over half of the respondents had come across the campaign, most seeing the leaflet or a television advert. Over two-thirds of respondents ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that the campaign caught their attention. A similar proportion ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that the campaign informed them about 100 cal snacks and just over a half thought it was memorable. Most respondents used positive language to describe the campaign, but there was no clear consensus of a perceived positive impact on healthier snack purchasing, nor preparing more 100 cal snacks at home. Respondents provided examples of how the campaign could be improved to positively impact eating behaviours: better publicity and information delivery; healthier snack examples made more visible; improved nutritional labelling and access to healthier products in supermarkets (availability, promotion, display, choice). Conclusions: The C4L 100 cal snack campaign was perceived positively by parents and carers, with many agreeing that the campaign was informative and memorable. However, there was no agreement in terms of the parents reporting an impact of the campaign on behaviour change and healthier snack habits. Future social marketing campaigns could be improved through more formal pilot testing to assess the understanding and acceptance of the campaign amongst the target audience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1012
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Childhood
  • Intervention
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Public health
  • Snacking

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