The development of a single health-endorsement logo for South Africa

Koen, Nelene ; Wentzel-Viljoen, Edelweiss ; Blaauw, Renee (2018)

CITATION: Koen, N., Wentzel-Viljoen, E. & Blaauw, R. 2018. The development of a single health-endorsement logo for South Africa. Public Health Nutrition, 21(8): 1444-1454, doi:10.1017/S1368980018000034.

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Objective: To develop health-endorsement logos (HEL) for food products indicating healthy choices based on the South African nutrient profile model and to pilot test these logos with consumers. Design: Multistage mixed-methods design. Setting: Cape Town, South Africa. Subjects: Nine focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with adult consumers to explore what types of HEL are preferred and why. Based on the findings, ten HEL were designed by a graphic design team. A modified Delphi technique, conducted with experts in the fields of nutrition and food science, was employed to eliminate lowest-scoring HEL and to improve the design of the remaining logos. Participants from the initial FGD participated in pilot testing the improved logos. Results: Participants from FGD (n 67) were positive about a single HEL, stating it would make food labelling less confusing as they did not understand the various HEL used. Participants indicated the logo should include wording related to ‘healthy choice’ or ‘better choice’ and pictures/symbols related to health and/or food. During two rounds of scoring and comments by experts (n 19), five logos were eliminated and the design of the remaining five improved. Three of five remaining logos received overall rankings of 3·08/5, 3·28/5 and 3·39/5, respectively, during FGD (n 36) in the pilot-testing phase. Conclusion: HEL were designed and consumer tested. Three designs were submitted to the national Department of Health to consider for implementation, after further testing, as a tool to assist in addressing the high incidence of non-communicable diseases in South Africa.

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