BACKGROUND: Behavioural economics and social marketing have potential to influence health behaviours in children, but there has been no systematic review considering the combined impact of these strategies. The aim of this research is to conduct a systematic review and narrative synthesis of both behavioural economics and social marketing strategies in relation to influencing children’s nutritional and physical activity behaviours. METHOD: Two pre-registered systematic reviews were conducted and combined adhering to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and in total 51 studies were included. RESULTS: 35 studies reported behaviour change, 2 reported no behaviour change, and the remaining 14 had more descriptive outcomes exploring the implementation of the interventions. Studies investigated only nutritional outcomes (n=37), only physical activity outcomes (n=9), or both nutritional and physical activity outcomes (n=5). The findings demonstrated the links between both behavioural economics and social marketing, particularly in influencing the behaviours of children. Three key methods were identified for influencing behaviour: using a character (n=3), raising awareness (n=19), and using media/technology (n=11). These were often used in combination (n=18). CONCLUSION: The study highlights how both behavioural economics and social marketing have been used positively, for example in promoting physical activity engagement; but also negatively, for example in the promotion of junk food. It is suggested that future interventions adopt the use of both strategies in a holistic way to best develop, execute and evaluate their interventions to positively influence health behaviours in children.
|Submitted - Sept 2020