Does the material explain the nature of the risk?

Tell audiences what the actual threat or harm is and how they will be affected. State the cause and effect connection between the risk and the effects of being at risk. Provide enough information so that audiences can evaluate what the risk means to them and how they might be affected. For example:

  • will they experience a minor, temporary inconvenience or a life-changing event or long-term effects?
  • what will happen if they don’t take the recommended actions or perform behaviors to protect or promote their health?
  • could they get sick or die as a result of not taking the recommended action or performing the behavior?
  • do they have the same likelihood of experiencing harm if they do a risky behavior once versus doing the behavior repeatedly over their lifetime?

Example 1:

Some women have a higher chance of having a child with a birth defect, including women over the age of 35. This means that if you are pregnant and over age 35, you are more likely to have a baby with a birth defect than a woman age 35 or younger.

Example 2:

Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria and other germs that can make you very sick or kill you if you drink it.

Getting sick from drinking raw milk can mean many days of diarrhea, stomach cramping, and vomiting. Less commonly, it can mean kidney failure, paralysis, chronic disorders, and even death.

Page last reviewed: August 11, 2014