Special Issue "Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 11 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dominika Guzek
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Market and Consumer Research, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, 02776 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: consumer attitude; consumer behavior; food choice; food neophobia; human health; food technology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Dominika Głąbska
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Dietetics, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, 02776 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: diet; nutrition; human health; diet-related diseases; diet therapy; dietary prevention; lifestyle
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health entitled “Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health”.

Consumer behaviors are related to the activities of individuals or groups that are associated with the selection, purchase, use, and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer’s emotional, mental, and behavioral responses that precede. Consumer behaviors associated with food, nutrition, and lifestyle may affect human health. Noncommunicable diet-related diseases are responsible for 63% of global deaths, and this share will be increasing in the future, while there are a number of modifiable factors. As consumer behaviors may be influenced by many factors, including personal, psychological, social, and environmental ones, the interdisciplinary approach allows deeper analysis associated with possibilities to influence consumer behavior and health.

In this Special Issue of IJERPH, we would like to give readers valuable insights into consumer behaviors related to food, nutrition, and lifestyle that could influence human health. The Guest Editors would like to invite original research and reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) on the following topics:

  • Consumer motivations, perception and selection of food products, and resulting nutritional value of diet
  • Effects of consumer behavior on physical, mental, or social health outcomes;
  • Consumer attitudes and food choices for prevention and treatment of diet-related diseases;
  • Nutritional recommendations and dietary guidelines as strategies in diet-related diseases prevention and treatment;
  • Lifestyle and environmental factors influencing health benefits and risks;
  • Current nutritional trends and related nutritional behaviors (plant-based diet, sustainable diet, paleo diet, ketogenic diet, zero-waste lifestyle) as factors influencing human health;
  • Technologies applied in marketing strategies, food policy, and behavioral interventions for public health purposes.

Other topics within the “Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health” are also welcome.

Prof. Dominika Guzek
Dr. Dominika Głąbska
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • consumer behaviors
  • food
  • nutrition
  • diet
  • eating habits
  • dietary pattern
  • environment
  • food marketing
  • diet-related diseases
  • public health

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Association between Selected Dietary Habits and Lipid Profiles of Patients with Cardiovascular Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7605; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207605 - 19 Oct 2020
Abstract
This study evaluated the associations between selected dietary habits and lipid profiles in a group of 800 randomly selected patients hospitalized in the Nitra Cardio Center, Slovakia. Patients were aged 20–101 years (only men, the average age was 61.13 ± 10.47 years). The [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the associations between selected dietary habits and lipid profiles in a group of 800 randomly selected patients hospitalized in the Nitra Cardio Center, Slovakia. Patients were aged 20–101 years (only men, the average age was 61.13 ± 10.47 years). The data necessary for the detection of dietary habits were obtained by a questionnaire method in closed-ended format. Data collection was carried out simultaneously with the somatometric and biochemical examinations of the respondents ensured by the Nitra Cardio Center. The following parameters were evaluated: total cholesterol (T-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, and blood glucose. Statistical comparisons between groups were performed using one-way analysis of variance (one-way ANOVA), followed by Tukey’s post hoc test. We detected significant differences (p < 0.05) in the influence of the number of daily meals on T-C and LDL-C, which were higher in men who consumed 1–2 meals compared with 3–4 or 5–6 meals. In the consumption of meat, eggs, and fish, there was no significant effect on the biochemical parameters of blood (p > 0.05). We recorded a significant effect (p < 0.001) on T-C and LDL-C levels between low-fat and whole-fat milk consumption. Except for the impact of fruit consumption on the HDL-C level (p < 0.001), the different frequencies of fruit consumption showed non-significant changes for the lipid profile levels. We detected a significant effect (p = 0.017) of the consumption of vegetables 1–2 times/week on LDL-C in favor of daily consumption. Our results support that monitoring the lipid profile is an important determinant in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The conducted research emphasizes the importance of diet dependence on the improvement of the quality of treatment and nutrition of people with this type of disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Influential Factors Including COVID-19 on Green Food Purchase Intentions and the Intention–Behaviour Gap: A Qualitative Study among Consumers in a Chinese Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7106; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197106 - 28 Sep 2020
Abstract
This study applied a qualitative approach to investigate the underlying influences on consumers’ green food consumption from the intention generation phase to intention execution phase in the perspectives of purchase intention and the intention–behaviour gap (IBG). Additionally, the impact of the “Coronavirus Disease [...] Read more.
This study applied a qualitative approach to investigate the underlying influences on consumers’ green food consumption from the intention generation phase to intention execution phase in the perspectives of purchase intention and the intention–behaviour gap (IBG). Additionally, the impact of the “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19) pandemic on consumers’ green food purchases was explored. Research data were derived from semi-structured in-depth interviews with 28 consumers and analyzed using grounded theory. The findings identified factors that influenced intentions and the IBG in the process of consumers’ green food purchases. Specifically, these findings reported that health consciousness, perceived attributes, environmental consciousness, social influence, family structure, and enjoyable shopping experiences were identified as major drivers for generating consumers’ green food purchase intentions. High prices of green food, unavailability issues, mistrust issues, and limited knowledge were factors triggering the gap between green food purchase intentions and behaviours. In addition, the results revealed that the COVID-19 crisis increased consumers’ green food purchase intentions, whereas the IBG widens as a result of issues of unavailability, price, and panic. These findings will help stakeholders build future policy and suitable strategies to better promote green food consumption in the Chinese context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
University Students’ Purchase Intention and Willingness to Pay for Carbon-Labeled Food Products: A Purchase Decision-Making Experiment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197026 - 25 Sep 2020
Abstract
Carbon labeling describes carbon dioxide emissions across food lifecycles, contributing to enhancing consumers’ low-carbon awareness and promoting low-carbon consumption behaviors. In a departure from the existing literature on carbon labeling that heavily relies on interviews or questionnaire surveys, this study forms a hybrid [...] Read more.
Carbon labeling describes carbon dioxide emissions across food lifecycles, contributing to enhancing consumers’ low-carbon awareness and promoting low-carbon consumption behaviors. In a departure from the existing literature on carbon labeling that heavily relies on interviews or questionnaire surveys, this study forms a hybrid of an auction experiment and a consumption experiment to observe university students’ purchase intention and willingness to pay for a carbon-labeled food product. In this study, students from a university in a city (Chengdu) of China, the largest carbon emitter, are taken as the experimental group, and cow’s milk is selected as the experimental food product. The main findings of this study are summarized as follows: (1) the purchase of carbon-labeled milk products is primarily influenced by price; (2) the willingness to pay for carbon-labeled milk products primarily depends on the premium; and (3) the students are willing to accept a maximum price premium of 3.2%. This study further offers suggestions to promote the formation of China’s carbon product-labeling system and the marketization of carbon-labeled products and consequently facilitate low-carbon consumption in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of COVID-19 Crisis upon the Consumer Buying Behavior of Fresh Vegetables Directly from Local Producers. Case Study: The Quarantined Area of Suceava County, Romania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155485 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The present paper intends to address the impact of COVID-19 crisis upon the consumer buying behavior of fresh vegetables directly from local producers as observed 30 days later, after enforcing the state of emergency in Romania within a well-defined area, namely, the quarantined [...] Read more.
The present paper intends to address the impact of COVID-19 crisis upon the consumer buying behavior of fresh vegetables directly from local producers as observed 30 days later, after enforcing the state of emergency in Romania within a well-defined area, namely, the quarantined area of Suceava. The study relies on the interpretation of answers received from the quarantined area (N = 257) to a questionnaire applied online nationwide. The starting point of this paper is the analysis of the sociodemographic factors on the purchasing decision of fresh vegetables directly from local producers before declaring the state of emergency in Romania (16 March 2020). Further research has been conducted by interpreting the changes triggered by the COVID-19 crisis on the purchasing intention of such products before and after the end of the respective crisis. The aim of this scientific investigation relies on identifying the methods by which these behavioral changes can influence the digital transformation of short food supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Consumers’ Food Purchase and Transport Behaviors over a Decade (2010 to 2019) Following Health and Convenience Food Trends
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155448 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Although consumers’ food purchase/transport have been reported as causes of food safety risks, there is a lack of empirical data that are feasible to identify persistent and emerging risky behaviors of consumers. This longitudinal trend study consists of individual consumer surveys in 2010 [...] Read more.
Although consumers’ food purchase/transport have been reported as causes of food safety risks, there is a lack of empirical data that are feasible to identify persistent and emerging risky behaviors of consumers. This longitudinal trend study consists of individual consumer surveys in 2010 (n = 609) and 2019 (n = 605) to analyze changes in risky behaviors linked to food purchase/transport over a decade. Overall, the results identified purchase/transport time and purchase order as the emerging and unchanged risk factors, respectively. Consumers’ preferences into channels for purchase (large discount stores rather than small/traditional markets) and transport (using cars or delivery) implied the convenience as the noticeable trend. Whereas, unexpected increases in purchase/transport time highlighted the underestimated risks in long-term exposure of foods under inadequate temperature. Food should not be exposed to danger zones > 1–2 h, but consumers might be unaware of the risk especially for preferred channels (e.g., 77 and 36 min. are required for purchase and transport from large discount stores, respectively). In the case of unchanged risky behavior, more than half of consumers in both surveys did not follow proper purchasing orders. Our findings highlight the necessity for novel countermeasures and the improvement of current consumer guidelines against emerging and unchanged risky behaviors, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Added Salt and Sugar in the Diet of Polish and Austrian Toddlers. Associated Factors and Dietary Patterns, Feeding and Maternal Practices
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145025 - 13 Jul 2020
Abstract
Children aged <2 years should not be given meals with the addition of salt and sugar due to health risks and to promote healthier dietary habits. The aims of this study were: to assess the prevalence of the use of added salt (AS), [...] Read more.
Children aged <2 years should not be given meals with the addition of salt and sugar due to health risks and to promote healthier dietary habits. The aims of this study were: to assess the prevalence of the use of added salt (AS), sugar (ASu) and both salt and sugar (AS&Su) in the diets of Polish and Austrian toddlers aged 12–24 and 25–36 months; to explore the sociodemographic and early nutritional factors associated with the use of AS and ASu; to investigate the difference in dietary habits and maternal concerns about toddlers’ eating regarding the use of AS and ASu in toddlers’ diet. This cross-sectional anonymous study was conducted in 5893 mothers of children aged 12–36 months, recruited through social media in 2017–2019. The questionnaire consisted of questions about sociodemographics, early feeding practices and current children’s nutrition (e.g., use of AS and ASu, food frequency questionnaire). Multivariate logistic regression and cluster analyses were applied. Austrian mothers more often used AS than mothers from Poland (at 2 years old: 74.8% vs. 52.8%; at 3 years old 87.4% vs. 74.4%, p ≤ 0.001), however Polish mothers were more prone to use ASu (at 2 years old: 34.7% vs. 27.7%; at 3 years old: 59.0% vs. 45.8%, p ≤ 0.001). In younger toddlers (12–24 months), the odds of using of AS, ASu, and AS&Su increased with toddlers’ age, when the mother was a multipara, was not currently breastfeeding, or had exclusively breastfed for 4–5 months. This risk decreased when older toddlers (25–36 months) were introduced to solids by baby-led weaning (BLW). Toddlers from both countries who consumed meals with AS or ASu more often a followed Western-like dietary pattern. Our study emphasizes the need for parental nutritional education when beginning to introduce solid foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Maternal Anthropometric Factors and Circulating Adipokines as Predictors of Birth Weight and Length
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4799; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134799 - 03 Jul 2020
Abstract
Pregnancy is a period of serial metabolic and hormonal changes in the woman’s body. Factors such as circulating adipokines affect the fetal period and may cause long-term changes in metabolic pathways at the cellular, tissue, or organ level. The nutritional status of the [...] Read more.
Pregnancy is a period of serial metabolic and hormonal changes in the woman’s body. Factors such as circulating adipokines affect the fetal period and may cause long-term changes in metabolic pathways at the cellular, tissue, or organ level. The nutritional status of the pregnant woman affects the course of pregnancy, delivery, and confinement, as well as the health of the offspring following birth and in subsequent years. Adipokine hormones essential for modulating metabolism during pregnancy include adiponectin and leptin. This study aimed to assess maternal anthropometric parameters and plasma concentrations of specific adipokines as predictive measures of newborn birth weight, birth length, and ponderal index. Anthropometric measurements (prepregnancy body weight and height) were obtained from 168 surveyed Polish women. Data related to the birth parameters of 168 newborns (body length and mass) were derived from clinical records. Circulating maternal adiponectin and leptin levels at birth were determined. Significant correlations between newborn birth weight and maternal prepregnancy body mass index (p < 0.05) or maternal weight gain during pregnancy (p < 0.05) were observed. Women with below normal weight gain during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to newborns with significantly lower birth weight than women with excessive weight gain during pregnancy (p < 0.05). Maternal plasma concentrations of leptin were significantly related to prepregnancy maternal body mass index (p < 0.05), and concentrations of adiponectin and leptin were significantly related to weight gain during pregnancy (p < 0.05). However, they did not affect the birth parameters of the newborn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impacts of Young Consumers’ Health Values on Functional Beverages Purchase Intentions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103479 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Internationally, there is increasing recognition of the importance of proper diet values and habits, a balanced intake of healthy food products, and rates of obesity control encompassing information on fat content and calories. In this context, some beverage manufacturers have shifted to marketing [...] Read more.
Internationally, there is increasing recognition of the importance of proper diet values and habits, a balanced intake of healthy food products, and rates of obesity control encompassing information on fat content and calories. In this context, some beverage manufacturers have shifted to marketing their products as having fewer calories and more functional benefits. This study aims to develop an extended value–attitude–behavior (VAB) research model that includes three constructs, namely, cue to action, self-efficacy, and health orientation, to explore the impacts of university students’ health values on their purchase intentions concerning functional beverages. The results indicated that university students’ interest in functional beverages was significantly affected by their health values. Besides, both interests in functional beverages and health orientation were significant predictors of purchase intention, while cue to action and self-efficacy were not. Based on these results, enhancing consumers’ education about food security is suggested. Furthermore, the findings provide crucial insights for marketing channels, suggesting the beverage industry can target consumers’ health values concerning health beverages as the key to purchase intention and attract business by developing practical marketing strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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