Characterizing Health-Related Cues to Action: Using Yelp Reviews of Restaurants in Hawaii’s Oahu Island


Even though Yelp’s ability to reflect consumers’ real voices has been questioned (Kuehn, 2013), this social media site—with a platform built around consumer reviews—influences restaurant revenue and consumers’ food choice (Luca, 2011). Food choice, influenced by a variety of social and behavioral factors, tremendously contributes to the obesity epidemic (Nestle et al., 1998). More than one-third of U.S. adults are considered overweight (CDC, n.d.), a state that may lead to obesity, a chronic disease accompanied with many comorbid conditions (Burke & Wang, 2011). There has been no scholar that utilizes restaurant reviews on Yelp in order to help consumers make healthier food choices. My paper is an attempt to understand ever-changing consumer behaviors that revolve around food choices through content analysis of Yelp restaurant reviews. I will qualitatively categorize ‘health-related cues to action’—indicating the origin from the Health Belief Model’s ‘cues to action’—for food choices. Also, I expect to find attitudes and insights unique to a Hawaiian context. A stratified sampling technique is used, so both healthy and unhealthy restaurants in Hawaii’s island of Oahu would be fairly represented. This shall be very useful for future studies, e.g., discovery of health-related food choice trends; codebook development that can be used in Yelp restaurant review quantitative content analysis to validate such trends; and a method to get convincing data for making a credible suggestion to Yelp, relevant social media, policy makers, and food corporations. In conclusion, this study introduces a refreshing way to inspire consumers to healthier food choices through content analysis of Yelp.

Author Information
Weranuj Ariyasriwatana, University of Hawaii, United States
Wayne Buente, University of Hawaii, United States
Melissa Oshiro, University of Hawaii, United States
Dennis Streveler, University of Hawaii, United States

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2013
Stream: Media Studies

This paper is part of the MediAsia2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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