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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: closed (1 March 2021) | Viewed by 53770

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dominika Guzek
E-Mail 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, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Dominika Głąbska
E-Mail 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, Collections and Topics 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2500 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 (19 papers)

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Research

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Article
Analysis of Environmental Determinants of Heme and Nonheme Iron Intake in a National Sample of Polish Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105252 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 858
Abstract
Intake of sufficient amounts of iron by adolescents is a matter of great concern. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the factors that may influence iron intake in this specific population. The present study aimed to analyze the environmental determinants of the intake [...] Read more.
Intake of sufficient amounts of iron by adolescents is a matter of great concern. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the factors that may influence iron intake in this specific population. The present study aimed to analyze the environmental determinants of the intake of heme and nonheme iron in a national homogenous sample of Polish adolescents. Adolescents (aged 15–20 years) were randomly chosen from all the regions of Poland by performing a sampling of secondary schools (random quota sampling). The total iron intake, as well as the intake of heme iron, nonheme iron, animal iron, plant iron, and iron from various food products, was assessed among 1385 female respondents and 1025 male respondents using the validated IRON Intake Calculation—Food Frequency Questionnaire (IRONIC-FFQ). The intake was compared between the subgroups stratified by meat intake in the region, gross domestic product (GDP) in the region, and size of the city (rural vs. urban environment). It was observed that meat intake in the region did not influence the intake of total iron, as well as the intake of heme iron, nonheme iron, animal iron, plant iron, and iron from various food products (p > 0.05). However, GDP and the size of the city were determined as the most influencing factors, as they were associated with iron intake in both female and male adolescents, with the most prominent differences between the subgroups found in the case of females. Female adolescents from high-GDP regions had significantly higher intake of heme iron (p = 0.0047) and animal iron (p = 0.0029), and lower intake of nonheme iron compared to those from low-GDP regions (p = 0.0342). The total iron intake was higher among female adolescents who were from medium cities than those from big cities (p = 0.0350), but significantly higher animal iron intake (p = 0.0404) and plant iron intake (p = 0.0385) were observed among females from villages and small towns compared to females from other groups. Based on the results, it may be concluded that size of the city and the economic status of the region are the most important environmental determinants of iron intake in adolescents and, hence, they should be taken into account while developing educational programs, especially for the female adolescent population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumers’ Psychological Behavior Based on Data Mining for Online User Comments in the Catering Industry in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084178 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3192
Abstract
The outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 has had a huge impact on people’s daily life. Many restaurant businesses have been greatly affected by it. Consumers’ preferences for catering industry in China have changed, such as environmental hygiene, variety of dishes, and service [...] Read more.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 has had a huge impact on people’s daily life. Many restaurant businesses have been greatly affected by it. Consumers’ preferences for catering industry in China have changed, such as environmental hygiene, variety of dishes, and service methods. Therefore, the analysis of consumer preference differences and changes before and after the epidemic can not only provide emergency strategies for the catering industry but further improve the catering industry’s ability to deal with public health emergencies. This paper takes five cities in China as representatives to explore the impact of COVID-19 on China’s catering industry. Based on catering review data from August 2019 to April 2020, this paper first carries out Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic analysis and SNOWNLP (A Python library for processing Chinese text) sentiment analysis. Then this paper compares the results of topic classification and sentiment analysis before and after the epidemic. Furthermore, differences and changes of consumer preferences are obtained and preferences of consumers under COVID-19 are analyzed and forecasted. The results of LDA thematic analysis before the outbreak of COVID-19 show that consumers tend to punch in cyber celebrity restaurants and pay more attention to the taste of dishes, whereas after it consumers pay more attention to the changes of dishes, dining environment as well as epidemic prevention. The number of packages and takeout was also increasing. However, the waiting time is constantly considered by consumers before and after COVID-19. Firstly, to our surprise, final outcome of emotional analysis showed that consumers’ emotional state was more positive after the epidemic than before. COVID-19 has changed the lifestyle of consumers, consumption concepts, and consumption habits. Therefore, businesses also need to take positive and flexible measures to actively get feedback from consumers to adjust dishes and business methods. Secondly, the psychological attitude of catering consumers is relatively positive during the epidemic period, which indicates that consumers have great confidence in the recovery and development of the catering industry. Businesses can comply with consumers’ psychology and combine consumption vouchers with restaurant discounts to promote consumers’ consumption. Finally, the environment and service play more and more important effect on consumers’ emotional scores at present, which indicates that dining state and comfortable mealtime environment are becoming increasingly valuable. Therefore, businesses need to improve service standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Consumer Choices and Habits Related to Coffee Consumption by Poles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083948 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2917
Abstract
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks consumed in the world, also in Poland. In the literature, much attention is paid to the influence of coffee on human health, especially daily intake of caffeine, and also purchasing consumer behavior. There is a [...] Read more.
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks consumed in the world, also in Poland. In the literature, much attention is paid to the influence of coffee on human health, especially daily intake of caffeine, and also purchasing consumer behavior. There is a lack of research devoted to consumer choices and habits in relation to coffee consumption and brewing method. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of coffee consumers and present their segmentation based on consumer choices and habits towards coffee consumption. The study was performed using the computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI) method on a group of 1500 adults respondents in Poland reporting the consumption of coffee. We collected information about consumer choices and habits related to coffee consumption, including brewing method, place of consuming coffee, and factors determining coffee choices. Using cluster analysis, we identified three main groups of coffee consumers. There are “Neutral coffee drinkers”, “Ad hoc coffee drinkers”, and “Non-specific coffee drinkers”. The respondents in the study are not coffee gourmets; they like and consume coffee, but these are often changing choices. To conclude, it can be stated that the Polish coffee consumer prefers conventional methods of brewing coffee (like a “traditionalist”) but is open to novelties and new sensory experiences. Based on study results it is possible to know the coffee drinking habits in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Does Subjective Dietary Knowledge Affect Sugar-Sweetened Carbonated Beverages Consumption and Child Obesity? Empirical Evidence from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073713 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Worldwide, overweight and obesity have become an important public health problem affecting the health of children and adolescents. In China, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has reached 19 percent among the 6–17-year-old age group. Although studies have shown that regular consumption of [...] Read more.
Worldwide, overweight and obesity have become an important public health problem affecting the health of children and adolescents. In China, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has reached 19 percent among the 6–17-year-old age group. Although studies have shown that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), especially sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages (SSCBs), is positively correlated with overweight and obesity among children, the research on ways to reduce SSBs consumption is scarce. This study fills this gap by analyzing data on nearly 4000 students aged between 9–15 from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China, exploring possible influential pathways between subjective dietary knowledge, SSCBs consumption, and child obesity. The estimation results show that SSCBs consumption significantly mediates the relationship between dietary knowledge and the incidence of overweight and obesity; the mediated effects are different among subgroups. Therefore, improving dietary knowledge related to the lowing of SSBs consumption to reduce the obesity risk may be considered a possible way to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Association between Dietary Pattern, Lifestyle, Anthropometric Status, and Anemia-Related Biomarkers among Adults: A Population-Based Study from 2001 to 2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073438 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Inadequate dietary intake, poor nutritional status, heavy smoking, and alcohol consumption are associated with the risk of anemia. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between dietary patterns, lifestyle, nutritional status, and anemia-related biomarkers among adults using a multivariable regression [...] Read more.
Inadequate dietary intake, poor nutritional status, heavy smoking, and alcohol consumption are associated with the risk of anemia. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between dietary patterns, lifestyle, nutritional status, and anemia-related biomarkers among adults using a multivariable regression model. Taiwanese adults aged 20–45 years (n = 118,924, 43,055 men and 75,869 women) were obtained from the Mei Jau Health Management Institution database, between 2001 and 2015, for data analysis. The anemia–inflammation-related dietary pattern was derived by reduced rank regression analysis. Dietary patterns with high intakes of eggs, meat, organ meats, rice or flour products, fried foods, sugary beverages, and processed foods significantly increased the risk of anemia, and was associated with decreased hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cells, but increased white blood cells and C-reactive protein levels. Moreover, current alcohol drinkers, as well as people who were underweight, overweight, obese, and central obese, were more likely to increase their risk of anemia by 46%, 20%, 23%, 34%, and 28%, respectively. Interestingly, participants who are current or past smokers were inversely associated with risk of anemia. In conclusion, adherence to the anemia–inflammation dietary pattern was associated with an increased risk of anemia in Taiwanese adults. Furthermore, abnormal weight status and alcohol drinking were correlated with an increased risk of anemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Drinking Behavior, Taste Preferences and Special Beer Perception among Romanian University Students: A Qualitative Assessment Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063307 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be a challenging period for many students. This period is associated with an increase in alcohol consumption (AC) which can develop a drinking behavior or shape the preferences for certain alcoholic beverages. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be a challenging period for many students. This period is associated with an increase in alcohol consumption (AC) which can develop a drinking behavior or shape the preferences for certain alcoholic beverages. The purpose of this study was to analyze the AC pattern among Romanian university students, by investigating the association between taste and consumption, including preferences for special beer. A 30-item omnibus-type questionnaire was distributed to undergraduate students and used to gather sociodemographic data, alcohol expectancies, drinking motives and consequences, and special beer consumption. Results showed a statistically significant relationship between the age of first alcohol use and the existence of an alcoholic family member. The main reasons for AC are taste, sensation, relaxation, and socialization. Both female and male students tend to drink occasionally, with a preference for public places. Female students prefer a sweet taste, choosing special beers over the regular ones. The students’ residence may also influence the choice of special beers. Understanding the students’ drinking behavior and taste preferences is essential to create useful strategies to discourage excessive AC. Special beer, a growing segment in the beverage industry, could represent a healthier and safety alternative to AC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Parental Food Choices and Engagement in Raising Children’s Awareness of Sustainable Behaviors in Urban Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063225 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Promoting sustainable food consumption patterns and understanding factors driving environmentally-friendly food choices is one of the challenges of public health nutrition policies in the 2020s and crucial for the future wellbeing of humans, food systems and the planet as a whole. To assess [...] Read more.
Promoting sustainable food consumption patterns and understanding factors driving environmentally-friendly food choices is one of the challenges of public health nutrition policies in the 2020s and crucial for the future wellbeing of humans, food systems and the planet as a whole. To assess the impact of sustainability issues on the behaviors of parents living with young school-aged children in Poland a CAWI survey of 1035 adults in urban areas was conducted. A clustering procedure revealed that two of the identified clusters (73% of the sample) rated sustainability factors as important when purchasing food for children but only one of these clusters (29% of the sample) was actively engaged in raising their child’s awareness about sustainable behaviors. The third cluster (27% of the sample) had no intentions to teach their children about food sustainability because of lack of time or distrust in these topics. More than 80% of the sample agreed that parents share a responsibility in teaching children about the links between food, health and environment. Principles of healthy and sustainable diets should be incorporated into public health programmes to empower family members to engage in raising their children’s awareness and adopt more healthy and environmentally-friendly food consumption practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Vegetables, Potatoes and Their Products as Sources of Energy and Nutrients to the Average Diet in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063217 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
The aim of our study was to analyse vegetables, potatoes and their products as sources of energy and nutrients in the average diet in Poland. Representative data of the 2016 Household Budget Survey from 36,886 households were used. This is the largest study [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to analyse vegetables, potatoes and their products as sources of energy and nutrients in the average diet in Poland. Representative data of the 2016 Household Budget Survey from 36,886 households were used. This is the largest study sample in Poland, so we generalized the conclusions to the whole population using the statement ‘average diet’. We analysed three main product groups: vegetables, vegetable products, and potatoes and potatoes products, dividing them into 14 subgroups (e.g., tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, other vegetables, and mushrooms). The percentages of energy, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, nine vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E), seven minerals (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc), and fibre from the analysed food subgroups are presented. Additionally, the influence of household characteristics on the supply of energy and nutrients from each subgroup of vegetables, potatoes, and their products was evaluated using cluster analysis. In the analysis, R programme and Kohonen neural networks were applied. Our study showed that vegetables, potatoes, and their products provide 7.3% of daily dietary energy supply. Vegetables contribute more than 20% of the supply of six nutrients: vitamin C (51.8%), potassium (32.5%), folate (31.0%), vitamin A (30.6%), vitamin B6 (27.8%), and magnesium (20.2%), as well as fibre (31.8%). Cluster analysis distinguished three clusters that differed in nutritional supply from vegetables, potatoes, and their products. Educational level, income measured by quintile groups, village size, socio-economic characteristics, urbanization degree, and land use were the most important factors determining differences between clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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Article
Food Neophobia and Consumer Choices within Vietnamese Menu in a Polish Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2925; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062925 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
One of the factors influencing consumer food choices is food neophobia (FN), described as a reluctance to try novel or unknown food products. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of FN on food choices in young Polish respondents through [...] Read more.
One of the factors influencing consumer food choices is food neophobia (FN), described as a reluctance to try novel or unknown food products. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of FN on food choices in young Polish respondents through a web-based choice experiment with Vietnamese restaurant menu. The choice experiment was conducted using a Computer-Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) method in a sample of 601 young adults, while using a developed Vietnamese restaurant menu. For the dishes, neophobic potential for a Polish population was defined, based on content of ingredients not typical for Polish diet. The FN was assessed using the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) by Pliner and Hobden. The neophobic potential was the determinant of choice of dishes (p < 0.05). The participants characterized by a high FN level less commonly than others chosen dishes characterized by neophobic potential as: starter (Nem quõn—non-fried spring rolls with shrimps) (p = 0.0003), soup (Mién gà—soup with cellophane noodles and nam huong mushrooms) (p < 0.0001), main course (Phở xào bò—rice noodles with soy sauce and fish sauce) (p < 0.0001) and dessert (Chè thập cãm—dessert of golden gram, black eye beans, Azuki beans and tapioca) than other options (p = 0.0007). It was stated that FN in young respondents may reduce the frequency of choosing dishes containing unfamiliar ingredients and, as a result, it may cause lower diversity of consumed dishes. Taking into account that not properly balanced diets resulting from rejecting some types of products are becoming a growing problem, the FN should be taken into account in the general public health policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
Article
Dietary Salt-Related Determinants of Hypertension in Rural Northern Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020377 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1865
Abstract
Hypertension and its connection to high salt consumption have been observed in the Thai population. This study mainly contributed to the literature to examine the dietary-salt-related determinants associated with the risk of hypertension in rural northern Thailand, which exhibited the highest prevalence of [...] Read more.
Hypertension and its connection to high salt consumption have been observed in the Thai population. This study mainly contributed to the literature to examine the dietary-salt-related determinants associated with the risk of hypertension in rural northern Thailand, which exhibited the highest prevalence of hypertension. A total of 376 adults residing in San Pa Tong District, Chiang Mai province, were face-to-face interviewed using a structured questionnaire assessing dietary-salt-related knowledge, attitudes, consumption, sources, and habits. The subject’s blood pressure (BP) was measured twice before and after the interview. Hypertension was defined as a systolic BP ≥ 130 mmHg or a diastolic BP ≥ 80 mmHg. The dietary-salt-related knowledge, attitude, and habits toward salt reduction were positively correlated; however, knowledge and attitudes were not significantly correlated with consumption. Multivariate logistic regression results indicated subjects who frequently bought ready-to-eat food, ate out, or used bouillon cube/monosodium glutamate (MSG) during food preparation were likely to have hypertension (OR = 2.24, 95% CI: 1.36–3.69, p = 0.002). MSG was heavily consumed and used as a flavor enhancer in northern Thai cuisine; however, a few subjects realized it contains sodium due to no salty taste. The deficiency of specific dietary-salt-related knowledge illustrated the need for tailored educational intervention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
Article
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
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 974
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)
Article
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
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5227
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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Article
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
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1814
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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Article
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 66 | Viewed by 18711
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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Article
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 8 | Viewed by 2608
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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Article
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
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1441
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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Article
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
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 913
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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Article
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 9 | Viewed by 2004
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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Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Functional Food—Consumer Motivations and Expectations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105327 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2090
Abstract
This review provides insight into consumer attitudes toward functional food (FF), with the purpose of better understanding the needs and behavior regarding this kind of product. A total of 47 articles were selected for this paper. The available studies from last 20 years [...] Read more.
This review provides insight into consumer attitudes toward functional food (FF), with the purpose of better understanding the needs and behavior regarding this kind of product. A total of 47 articles were selected for this paper. The available studies from last 20 years differ according to the focus (awareness, attitudes, motivations, willingness, acceptance by consumers) and methodologies used. Several factors, including socio-demographic, cognitive and attitudinal ones, seem to be serve as the basis for the acceptance of functional products. The research papers showed that nutritional knowledge is the most important of these. Older people are more interested in functional products than younger consumers, because of their stronger belief in the health benefits of FF. Moreover, women are more open to compromise between taste and health properties. Claims concerning the disease preventative properties of FF are the most attractive for consumers. This review focuses also on future perspectives for the functional food market. Adequate knowledge and evidence-based communication seem to be the most promising ways to increase consumers’ interest in these kinds of products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behaviors, Food, Nutrition, and Human Health)
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