Congratulations PRC Researcher Amy Bleakley: 2016 LDI Senior Fellow

Bleakley, Amy-APPC-lobbyheadshotCongratulations to UPenn PRC Researcher Amy Bleakley, PhD, one of nineteen new Senior Fellows at the Leonard Davis Institute.

LDI’s 200+ Senior Fellows bridge seven schools and institutes within the University of Pennsylvania.  They produce innovative, multidisciplinary research in the management, organization, financing and delivery of health care.

Bleakley joins a distinguished list of PRC Directors and Researchers already named Senior Fellows at LDI:


  • David Asch, MD, MBA
  • Charles Branas, PhD
  • Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA
  • Carolyn Cannuscio, ScD, ScM
  • Peter Cronholm, MD, MSCE
  • Chyke Doubeni, MD, FRCS, MPH
  • Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH
  • David Grande, MD, MPA
  • Carmen Guerra, MD, MSCE
  • John Holmes, PhD
  • Amy Jordan, PhD
  • Jason Karlawish, MD
  • Judith Long, MD
  • Daniel Polsky, PhD, MPP
  • Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH
  • Jeffrey Silber, MD, PhD
  • Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD
  • Douglas Wiebe, PhD

How Do Sugar-Sweetened Beverage-Related Public Service Advertisements Influence Parents?

UPenn PRC’s Amy Jordan PhD, Amy Bleakley, PhD, MPH, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, and Andrew Strasser, PhD, using a novel experimental approach, identifying the effectiveness of distinct persuasive strategies used in audiovisual (television-format) public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to encourage parents to reduce their children’s sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Evaluation of existing SSB-related PSAs is vitally important because it can provide insight into which persuasive appeals are most effective for audiences, particularly those most at risk for overweight and obesity
Their findings suggest that anti-SSB campaigns targeting parents should include strong arguments for sugar-sweetened beverage reduction, invoke feelings of empowerment and hope, and be clearly directed at distinct parent audiences. At the same time the authors recognize that while individual actions may be helpful, the obesogenic environment that surrounds children may subvert even the most involved and well-intentioned parents. Appeals to personal parenting responsibility should be made in concert with efforts to create healthier structural, nutritional, and preventative environments.

Read the article here.

Jordan A, Bleakley A, Hennessy M, Vaala S, Glanz K, Strasser AA. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage-Related Public Service Advertisements and Their Influence on Parents. American Behavioral Scientist. 2015;59(14):1847-1865.




Do appeals in Advertisements Influence Adolescents’ Consumption of Sweetened Beverages?

A new study at Penn has been published in the Journal of Health Communication. PRC researchers Amy Bleakley, Amy Jordan, Karen Glanz, and Andrew Strasser, were the first to test the effect of persuasive strategies used in public service ad campaigns aimed at sugar-sweetened beverages, which include non-diet soda, sports and energy drinks, sweetened teas and fruit drinks.

The researchers found that public service advertisements (PSAs) appealing to fear – and warning of the health consequences of too much sugar, such as obesity, diabetes, amputations, cancer, and heart disease – had the greatest effect on teens’ intention to cut back on sugary drinks. The study also examined ads that appealed to humor and to nurturance (protective, parental instincts).

The fear-based ads worked directly to influence the adolescents’ intentions, as well as indirectly by affecting the perceived strength of the message. All three kinds of emotional appeals – fear, humor, and nurturance – affected other emotions and cognitions as well, but not all of those were shown to be related to teens’ intention to cut back on sugary drinks.

Read the study here

Bleakley A, Jordan A, Hennessy M, Glanz K, Strasser A and Vaala S. Do Emotional Appeals in Public Service Advertisements Influence Adolescents’ Intention to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages? Journal of Health Comm, Jun 2015, online, 938-948.