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  1. Rowe, Sylvia MA
  2. Alexander, Nick BA


The past several decades have seen profound changes in communication models, creating an imperative for openness, honesty, and transparency in order for nutrition communications to be an effective force to benefit public health. National surveys over this period have documented a more or less steady decline in consumers' confidence in the communications of previously highly regarded institutions, such as Congress, business corporations, and the news media. The article examines the critical importance of trust in maintaining the credibility and authority of major institutions themselves and especially of their broad communications intended to benefit the public. The authors explore the implications of the erosion of trust for nutrition communicators, and they examine in some detail the communication factors that build or erode confidence in the evolving public conversation about food and nutrition. The article stresses the criticality of trust components in creating effective nutrition and food science communications.