Special Issue "Food Choice and Nutrition"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Armando Perez-Cueto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Science, Section for Food Design and Consumer Behaviour – Future Consumer Lab, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 26, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
Interests: plant-based food consumption; consumer behaviour; food choice; nudging; healthy and sustainable foods; nutritional epidemiology; public health nutrition; taste & texture; meal sciences; gastronomy; vegan
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Annemarie Olsen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: Food Choice and Acceptance; Children; Sensory Science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Food Choice and Nutrition” deals with the relation between the food choices of different population groups or consumer segments and their impact on nutritional status, the improvement of dietary quality, food and nutrition-related behavior, food preferences, taste education, sensory characteristics of foods and their role in consumer choice, etc. It addresses why people make food choices, when they choose some foods instead of others, the influence of company (with whom) on the choice, and the aspects of where foods are eaten or chosen.

The Special Issue welcomes original articles based on interventions towards healthy, sustainable and/or ethical food consumption, such as e.g. nudging, social media campaigns or taste learning. It also welcomes systematic reviews or meta analyses on food choice and nutrition. It also welcomes qualitative research articles that provide strong knowledge on the issues around food choice and nutrition. It welcomes original research based on primary data obtained from questionnaires or surveys, or based on the secondary analysis of datasets such as demographic and health surveys or household surveys. The issue also welcomes papers on the adherence to current nutrition guidelines. It also welcomes papers dealing with diet-related lifestyle choices explaining the growing shift towards flexitarian, vegan, vegetarian or plant-based diets.

Although most people are aware of nutrition recommendations towards healthy eating (like five-a-day fruits and vegetables), compliance is low. This issue encourages cross-disciplinary research to provide better understanding of the road towards successful nutrition related behavior change in terms of food choices (e.g. healthier food consumption, sustainable food choices, ethical food choices, etc.) and the impact these choices have on nutritional status, dietary quality, food literacy and food preferences.

Dr. Armando Perez-Cueto
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Annemarie Olsen
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. Nutrients 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 2600 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

  • Food choice
  • Eating behavior
  • Nutrition recommendations
  • Food preferences
  • Behavioral nutrition
  • Healthy
  • Sustainable
  • Ethical

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
The Multifaceted Dimensions of Food Choice and Nutrition
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020502 - 16 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
The Special Issue “Food Choice and Nutrition” deals with the relationship between the food choices of different population groups or consumer segments and its impact on the nutritional status, improvement of dietary quality, food and nutrition-related behaviour, food preferences, taste education, sensory characteristics [...] Read more.
The Special Issue “Food Choice and Nutrition” deals with the relationship between the food choices of different population groups or consumer segments and its impact on the nutritional status, improvement of dietary quality, food and nutrition-related behaviour, food preferences, taste education, sensory characteristics of foods and their role in consumer choice, etc [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Segmenting Young Adult University Student’s Eating Behaviour: A Theory-Informed Approach
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2793; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112793 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to extend behavioural theory and segmentation application. Specifically, this paper draws on three segmentation bases and behavioural theory that extends focus beyond individual psychological predispositions to form segments within the healthy eating context for young adult university [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to extend behavioural theory and segmentation application. Specifically, this paper draws on three segmentation bases and behavioural theory that extends focus beyond individual psychological predispositions to form segments within the healthy eating context for young adult university students (20–35 years) in Queensland, Australia. Participants were invited to take part in an online survey via email and through face to face intercept to ensure a diverse cross section was obtained. Structural equation modelling revealed that the Motivation, Opportunity, and Ability (MOA) framework can be utilised to explain healthful eating behaviour and two-step cluster analysis uncovered two distinct segments with education, motivation to eat healthily and Turconi’s eating behaviour scores being the most important variables within the wider multivariate segment formation. This paper contributes to literature in the following ways. First, it confirms the importance of behavioural bases in segment formation and supports inclusion of other bases, namely demographics and psychographics. Next, it provides evidence of the value of including behavioural theory, which extends focus beyond what individuals think to understand how the environment may support them. Finally, this paper demonstrates that the MOA framework together with eating behaviour and demographic factors (education) can produce theoretically informed segments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
Article
Food Taboos and Cultural Beliefs Influence Food Choice and Dietary Preferences among Pregnant Women in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2668; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112668 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4237
Abstract
A well-nourished and healthy population is a central tenet of sustainable development. In South Africa, cultural beliefs and food taboos followed by some pregnant women influence their food consumption, which impacts the health of mothers and children during pregnancy and immediately afterwards. We [...] Read more.
A well-nourished and healthy population is a central tenet of sustainable development. In South Africa, cultural beliefs and food taboos followed by some pregnant women influence their food consumption, which impacts the health of mothers and children during pregnancy and immediately afterwards. We documented food taboos and beliefs amongst pregnant isiXhosa women from five communities in the Kat River Valley, South Africa. A mixed-methods approach was used, which was comprised of questionnaire interviews with 224 women and nine focus group discussions with 94 participants. Overall, 37% of the women reported one or more food practices shaped by local cultural taboos or beliefs. The most commonly avoided foods were meat products, fish, potatoes, fruits, beans, eggs, butternut and pumpkin, which are rich in essential micronutrients, protein and carbohydrates. Most foods were avoided for reasons associated with pregnancy outcome, labour and to avoid an undesirable body form for the baby. Some pregnant women consumed herbal decoctions for strengthening pregnancy, facilitating labour and overall health of both themselves and the foetus. Most learnt of the taboos and practices from their own mother or grandmother, but there was also knowledge transmission in social groups. Some pregnant women in the study may be considered nutritionally vulnerable due to the likelihood of decreased intake of nutrient-rich foods resulting from cultural beliefs and food taboos against some nutritious foods. Encouraging such women to adopt a healthy diet with more protein-rich foods, vegetables and fruits would significantly improve maternal nutrition and children’s nutrition. Adhering to culturally appropriate nutrition education may be an important care practice for many pregnant women in the Kat River Valley. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Diet-Related Factors, Physical Activity, and Weight Status in Polish Adults
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2532; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102532 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1771
Abstract
Obesity is a serious problem for both the individual and society due to its health and economic consequences. Therefore, there is a need to focus on factors which explain this phenomenon and may be useful in preventing future occurrence. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Obesity is a serious problem for both the individual and society due to its health and economic consequences. Therefore, there is a need to focus on factors which explain this phenomenon and may be useful in preventing future occurrence. The aim of this study was to determine the lifestyle factors coexisting with increased body mass index (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) in Polish adults, including factors related to diet (dietary patterns—DPs; dietary restrictions; number of meals; frequency of snacking, eating out, and ordering home delivery meals), physical activity, and sociodemographic characteristics. A cross-sectional quantitative survey was carried out in 2016 amongst 972 Polish adults under the Life Style Study (LSS). To determine the factorscoexisting with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2, the logistic regression model was developed. Women were less likely to be overweight or obese compared to men. The likelihood of BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 increased with age by 4% in each subsequent year of life. Frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, adhering to restrictions in quantity of food consumed and at least moderate physical activity during leisure time decreased the likelihood of BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. More frequent consumption of meat and eating five or more meals a day increased the likelihood of BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. Diet-related factors explained the developed model better than factors related to physical activity, however, age and gender were the factors most strongly correlated with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. Therefore, development of strategies to prevent and reduce overweight and obesity should focus on the demographic characteristics of the population, and then on teaching behaviors conducive for reducing the amount of food consumed, especially meat. However, physical activity in leisure time should also be included in the prevention of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
Article
Children’s Self-Reported Reasons for Accepting and Rejecting Foods
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102455 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2864
Abstract
Children’s eating behavior does not necessarily align with dietary recommendations, and there is a need for better understanding the factors underlying their food choices. The aim of this study was to investigate children’s self-reported reasons for accepting and rejecting foods. A questionnaire was [...] Read more.
Children’s eating behavior does not necessarily align with dietary recommendations, and there is a need for better understanding the factors underlying their food choices. The aim of this study was to investigate children’s self-reported reasons for accepting and rejecting foods. A questionnaire was developed with reasons based on prior research and in-depth interviews. A set of various food stimuli covering different types was evaluated by 106 girls and 99 boys aged 10–13 years by checking all reasons that apply (CATA) for either accepting or rejecting them. Results showed gender differences among reasons for both food acceptance and rejection, but also in liking and willingness to re-taste the stimuli. The most common reason for food acceptance was good taste in boys and curiosity in girls; for food rejection they were bad taste, bad smell and dislike of appearance in boys and bad taste, bad smell, dislike of appearance and texture in girls. Overall, boys liked the food stimuli more than girls and were more willing to re-taste them. Future research should focus more on the role of sensory properties in both acceptance and rejection, and the potential of children’s curiosity as a driver in tasting foods should be further explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Measuring Food Waste and Consumption by Children Using Photography
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102410 - 09 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
A photography method was used to measure waste on food trays in school lunch in France, using the 5-point quarter-waste scale. While food waste has been studied extensively in US school lunches, the structure of the French lunch meal is quite different, with [...] Read more.
A photography method was used to measure waste on food trays in school lunch in France, using the 5-point quarter-waste scale. While food waste has been studied extensively in US school lunches, the structure of the French lunch meal is quite different, with multiple courses, and vegetables (raw and cooked) in more than one course. Vegetables were the most wasted food category as usually seen in school lunch research, especially cooked vegetables, which were wasted at rates of 66%–83%. Raw vegetables were still wasted more than main dishes, starchy products, dairy, fruit, and desserts. Vegetables were also the most disliked food category, with the classes of vegetables falling in the same order as for waste. Waste and liking were highly correlated. Sensory characteristics of the food were cited as a main reason for liking/disliking. There is a strong connection between food liking and food consumption, and this connection should be the basis for future attempts to modify school lunch to improve consumption. The photographic method of measuring food waste at an individual level performed well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Healthy Food Labels Tailored to a High-Risk, Minority Population More Effectively Promote Healthy Choices than Generic Labels
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2272; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102272 - 22 Sep 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1689
Abstract
The decades-long increase in obesity in the US has led to a number of policies aimed at improving diets, which are thought to play a significant role in obesity. Many of these policies seek to influence individuals’ behaviors. Front-of-package labels providing salient, easily [...] Read more.
The decades-long increase in obesity in the US has led to a number of policies aimed at improving diets, which are thought to play a significant role in obesity. Many of these policies seek to influence individuals’ behaviors. Front-of-package labels providing salient, easily interpretable information to consumers have exhibited promise in helping people identify and choose healthier foods. However, behavioral economics may offer an opportunity to enhance label effectiveness. Tailoring labels to high-risk communities, including minority and rural populations, which have higher rates of diet-related diseases than the overall population, may increase the label’s effectiveness. We conducted a choice experiment with supermarket shoppers on a rural American Indian reservation to test labels tailored to the local population relative to a generic label, which had previously been identified as highly effective in the general population. Results show that while the generic label continues to be quite effective in encouraging healthier choices, the label that is tailored to the local community is more effective, resulting in a marked increase in the premium shoppers were willing to pay for a healthy item. Tailoring healthy food labeling systems using insights from behavioral economics may increase their effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Older Consumers’ Readiness to Accept Alternative, More Sustainable Protein Sources in the European Union
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1904; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081904 - 15 Aug 2019
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 4099
Abstract
Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is a growing concern on account of an aging population and its negative health consequences. While dietary protein plays a key role in the prevention of PEM, it also plays a pivotal role in the environmental impact of the human [...] Read more.
Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is a growing concern on account of an aging population and its negative health consequences. While dietary protein plays a key role in the prevention of PEM, it also plays a pivotal role in the environmental impact of the human diet. In search for sustainable dietary strategies to increase protein intake in older adults, this study investigated the readiness of older adults to accept the consumption of the following alternative, more sustainable protein sources: plant-based protein, insects, single-cell protein, and in vitro meat. Using ordinal logistic regression modeling, the associations of different food-related attitudes and behavior and sociodemographics with older adults’ acceptance to consume such protein sources were assessed. Results were obtained through a consumer survey among 1825 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years or above in five EU countries (United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Finland). Dairy-based protein was generally the most accepted protein source in food products (75% of the respondents found its consumption acceptable or very acceptable). Plant-based protein was the most accepted alternative, more sustainable protein source (58%) followed by single-cell protein (20%), insect-based protein (9%), and in vitro meat-based protein (6%). We found that food fussiness is a barrier to acceptance, whereas green eating behavior and higher educational attainment are facilitators to older adults’ acceptance to eat protein from alternative, more sustainable sources. Health, sensory appeal, and price as food choice motives, as well as gender and country of residence were found to influence acceptance, although not consistently across all the protein sources. Findings suggest that there is a window of opportunity to increase older adults’ acceptance of alternative, more sustainable protein sources and in turn increase protein intake in an environmentally sustainable way in EU older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Weight Matters—Factors Influencing Eating Behaviors of Vulnerable Women
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1809; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081809 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Women from low socioeconomic backgrounds are more affected by obesity than men. The influence of weight as a determinant of women’s eating behaviors has seldom been studied, especially in Latin America. In this study, we analyzed the food choices of vulnerable women according [...] Read more.
Women from low socioeconomic backgrounds are more affected by obesity than men. The influence of weight as a determinant of women’s eating behaviors has seldom been studied, especially in Latin America. In this study, we analyzed the food choices of vulnerable women according to their weight status. We conducted photo-elicitation interviews with 31 women from low-income neighborhoods in Santiago, Chile. Weight and height were measured and participants were divided into normal weight (n = 9), overweight (n = 15), and obese groups (n = 7) according to World Health Organization (WHO) body mass index (BMI) categories (p < 0.001). Quantitative and qualitative approaches were used for the analysis. Women in overweight and obese groups described more about their families, temporality, financial issues, and food perception. When weight groups were analyzed separately, more factors explaining eating behaviors were found (mental and physical health, body dissatisfaction, gender role, and obstacles for eating healthy) in the obese group. Results suggest that women with obesity or overweight based their diets on more internal and external factors than did normal weight women. This study contributes to our understanding of why changing behaviors can be difficult in women with obesity. Health care providers should consider these factors in the implementation of programs to address the need for a healthy diet for overweight and obese women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Evaluation of Athletes’ Food Choices during Competition with Use of Digital Images
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1627; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071627 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2308
Abstract
The selection of foods made by athletes during competition can impact performance, yet to date, the quality of their food choices has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to describe the food selection of athletes in a buffet-style dining hall [...] Read more.
The selection of foods made by athletes during competition can impact performance, yet to date, the quality of their food choices has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to describe the food selection of athletes in a buffet-style dining hall setting in terms of diet quality, food variety, and volume of food and compare to their self-rating of their meal, reasons for the choosing the food items, access to previous nutrition advice, and use of nutrition labelling. A total of 81 athletes (42 females, 39 males) from 24 sports across 58 countries at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (Qld, Australia) participated in this study. A digital photograph was taken of the athletes’ meal after selection from the buffet and prior to consumption. Each participant was asked a series of questions in relation to their food selection. The photographs were coded into recommended serves of food groups based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. The nutritional analysis and photograph of a standard serve size were used to quantify the energy and nutrients for the meal. Most athletes chose adequate quantities of macronutrients, which agreed with their reasons for the food choice, but the majority did not include fruit (80.2%) or dairy (65.4%) in their food selection, while 54% of males included discretionary foods (0.25–7.0 serves). The median self-rating for food choice was 8/10. Most reasons for food choices were nutritional attributes, sensory factors, performance, usual eating practices and physiological factors (e.g., satiety, gut comfort). This suggests that athletes may need more education on the quality of food selected from buffet settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
The Willingness to Modify Portion Sizes or Eat New Protein Foods Largely Depends on the Dietary Pattern of Protein Intake
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071556 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
Promoting a more balanced animal/plant dietary protein ratio by changing portion sizes or introducing new foods is a promising means to improve diet quality, but little is known about the willingness of individuals to adopt such changes. Our objective was to assess the [...] Read more.
Promoting a more balanced animal/plant dietary protein ratio by changing portion sizes or introducing new foods is a promising means to improve diet quality, but little is known about the willingness of individuals to adopt such changes. Our objective was to assess the willingness to adopt dietary changes by these means. In a French cross-sectional study in 2018 (n = 2055), we analyzed the association between the willingness to eat smaller or larger portions or to introduce non-consumed protein foods and the current dietary patterns of individuals and their socio-demographic characteristics. These modifications had previously been identified as improving the nutrient adequacy of diets. Participants were more willing to eat smaller portion sizes than to introduce new foods and to eat larger portion sizes. The willingness for any modification varied depending on the food groups concerned. Participants were also more willing to eat larger portions and less willing to eat smaller portions when they were the most frequent consumers of the foods concerned. Participants were more willing to eat a new food if it was consumed in large quantities by individuals with a similar dietary pattern. This study underlines the importance of accounting for individual food habits when issuing nutritional recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
A Provegetarian Food Pattern Emphasizing Preference for Healthy Plant-Derived Foods Reduces the Risk of Overweight/Obesity in the SUN Cohort
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1553; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071553 - 09 Jul 2019
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2992
Abstract
Provegetarian diets (i.e., preference for plant-derived foods but not exclusion of animal foods) have been associated with a reduced risk of long-term weight gain and could be more easily embraced than strict vegetarian diets. However, not all plant-derived foods are equally healthy. In [...] Read more.
Provegetarian diets (i.e., preference for plant-derived foods but not exclusion of animal foods) have been associated with a reduced risk of long-term weight gain and could be more easily embraced than strict vegetarian diets. However, not all plant-derived foods are equally healthy. In the “Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra” (SUN) cohort, we prospectively evaluated the association between different provegetarian food patterns and the incidence of overweight/obesity in 11,554 participants with initial body mass index <25 kg/m2. A provegetarian food pattern (FP) was built by assigning positive scores to plant foods and reverse scores to animal foods. A healthful and an unhealthful provegetarian FP, which distinguished between healthy (fruits/vegetables/whole grains/nuts/legumes/olive oil/coffee) and less-healthy plant foods (fruit juices/potatoes/refined grains/pastries/sugary beverages), were also built. A total of 2320 new cases of overweight or obesity were identified after a median follow-up of 10.3 years. Higher baseline conformity with the overall provegetarian FP was inversely associated with overweight/obesity (HR comparing extreme quintiles: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.75 to 0.96; p-trend: 0.014). This association was stronger for the healthful FP (HR: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.67 to 0.90; p-trend: <0.001) and was not apparent for the unhealthful FP (HR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.92 to 1.23; p-trend: 0.551). In a large prospective cohort of relatively young adults, better conformity with a healthy provegetarian diet was associated with a reduced long-term risk of overweight/obesity, whereas no consistent trend was found for a FP that emphasized less-healthy plant foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Article
Brazilian Food Truck Consumers’ Profile, Choices, Preferences, and Food Safety Importance Perception
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051175 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate food truck consumers’ profile, choices, preferences, and food safety importance perception. We conducted structured interviews with a convenient sample of 133 food truck consumers in the Federal District, Brazil. Most of the participating consumers were married (52%) and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate food truck consumers’ profile, choices, preferences, and food safety importance perception. We conducted structured interviews with a convenient sample of 133 food truck consumers in the Federal District, Brazil. Most of the participating consumers were married (52%) and female (56%), who had completed at least tertiary school (81%). The interviews revealed that most food truck consumers eat from food trucks once or twice a week (96%), usually near home (74%), and have an average per capita expenditure of approximately US $5 to US $9.99 (70%). Hamburgers and sandwiches are the most popular food among consumers (72%). Consumers indicated that taste (30%) was the most important reason to choose a food truck and that poor vehicle hygiene (30%) was the main point assigned for not opting for a food truck. Food hygiene and vendors’ personal hygiene were considered important by consumers when eating from food trucks (78% and 80%, respectively). Considering all food truck consumers interviewed and the questions about food safety importance perception, the minimum score was 1 and the maximum was 2.9, with a mean score of 1.68 (SD = 0.46), indicating a high level of perceived importance. The instrument of food safety importance perception presented a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.73, indicating good internal consistency. No significant differences were observed in the food safety importance perception scores in gender (0.192), marital status (0.418), level of education (0.652) or food safety training (0.166). However, significant differences were found in the food safety importance perception scores for age (0.026) and the presence of children (0.001). The findings of this study indicate that there remains the need for consumers to comprehend their role in the food supply chain. Food safety and food handling practices are of public concern, and strategies are required to prevent foodborne diseases. Future public health interventions aiming to increase consumer knowledge and awareness of food safety should be emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
Article
How Much Can Product Reformulation Improve Diet Quality in Households with Children and Adolescents?
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030618 - 14 Mar 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3082
Abstract
Improvements in the healthfulness of packaged foods and beverages through reformulation could help reduce the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents through improved diet quality. This study assessed changes in calories and four nutrients (saturated fat, total sugars, sodium, and dietary fiber) [...] Read more.
Improvements in the healthfulness of packaged foods and beverages through reformulation could help reduce the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents through improved diet quality. This study assessed changes in calories and four nutrients (saturated fat, total sugars, sodium, and dietary fiber) from 2012 through 2014 for packaged products frequently consumed by children and adolescents, simulated effects of potential improvements in 12 frequently consumed product categories based on actual purchasing patterns, and compared differences in prices of healthier versus less healthy products. Analysis of trends showed limited evidence that healthfulness of foods improved over the years examined. Simulation results showed minimal changes for calories and sodium, but daily intake of saturated fat could decrease by 4%, sugar consumption could decrease by 5%, and dietary fiber consumption could increase by 11% if products were reformulated to meet an existing healthfulness standard. Using a higher standard, caloric intake could decline by 4%, saturated fat by 6%, sugar by 9%, and sodium by 4%, and dietary fiber could increase by 14%. Healthier versions of most products ranged from an average of 3 to 12 cents more per serving, but not all healthier versions were more costly. Overall, reformulation is a potential avenue for improving diet quality in households with children and adolescents, but price could be a barrier to purchasing healthier products for some households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Health Innovation in Patty Products. The Role of Food Neophobia in Consumers’ Non-Hypothetical Willingness to Pay, Purchase Intention and Hedonic Evaluation
Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020444 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
Consumers’ personality traits are key factors in understanding consumers’ choice and acceptance for health innovations in food products, in particular, food neophobia (FN). The patty product as a traditional pork product (TPP) with two innovative traditional pork products (ITPP) from the untapped pig [...] Read more.
Consumers’ personality traits are key factors in understanding consumers’ choice and acceptance for health innovations in food products, in particular, food neophobia (FN). The patty product as a traditional pork product (TPP) with two innovative traditional pork products (ITPP) from the untapped pig breed (Porc Negre Mallorquí) in Spain were analysed. Patties were enriched with Porcini (Boletus edulis) using the claim “enriched with a natural source of dietary fiber Beta glucans that may contribute to improve our defence system” (ITPP1) and enriched with blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) using the claim “enriched with a natural source of antioxidant that may help to prevent cardiovascular diseases” (ITPP2). Two non-hypothetical discrete choice experiments were applied to investigate the importance of FN in consumers’ purchase intention (PI) and willingness to pay (WTP) before and after tasting the products. Results showed that the TPP and the ITPP2 received higher than expected PI and WTP. However, after tasting the products, consumers exhibited lower WTP for all ITPP showing the prevalence of the sensory experience on health innovation. The FN was highly related to WTP before the hedonic evaluation. However, it turned out to be non-significant, showing a homogenising role of the sensory experience in reducing the FN impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
Article
How Low-Income Mothers Select and Adapt Recipes and Implications for Promoting Healthy Recipes Online
Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020339 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
We describe a 5-year (2011–2015) qualitative evaluation to refine the content/delivery of the Food Hero social marketing campaign recipes to low-income mothers. Objectives were to: (1) identify characteristics looked for in recipes; (2) determine recipe sources; (3) understand motivation for seeking new recipes [...] Read more.
We describe a 5-year (2011–2015) qualitative evaluation to refine the content/delivery of the Food Hero social marketing campaign recipes to low-income mothers. Objectives were to: (1) identify characteristics looked for in recipes; (2) determine recipe sources; (3) understand motivation for seeking new recipes and recipe adaptations; and (4) identify recipe website characteristics users valued. Nine focus groups (n = 55) were conducted in Portland, Oregon. Participants (35–52 years) were primary caregivers for ≥ one child, the primary household food shoppers/preparers, enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and able to speak/read English. Participants reported having “go-to” family recipes and regularly searching online for new recipes, especially those using ingredients available/preferred by family members. Recipe websites with highest appeal were polished and engaging to mothers/children, offered user-ratings/comments and were reachable from search engines. Results identified key recommendations: (1) understand the target audience; (2) aim to add healthy/customizable recipes to family “go-to’ recipe rotations and understand the impact of generational influences (e.g. how mothers/grandmothers cooked) on family meals; and (3) create websites that meet target audience criteria. Seeking the target audience’s input about the content/delivery of recipes is an important formative step for obesity-prevention projects that include healthy recipes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Development of Criteria for Incorporating Occasionally Consumed Foods into a National Dietary Guideline: A Practical Approach Adapted to the Spanish Population
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010058 - 28 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) offer recommendations that help population to meet nutrient requirements. Most European FBDGs include quantitative information regarding daily and weekly consumed foods, but for occasionally consumed foods, they only recommend limiting their intake, without giving specific advice on portions. As [...] Read more.
Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) offer recommendations that help population to meet nutrient requirements. Most European FBDGs include quantitative information regarding daily and weekly consumed foods, but for occasionally consumed foods, they only recommend limiting their intake, without giving specific advice on portions. As these foods are consumed by the general population as a part of the cultural and culinary tradition of each country, it is important to establish the maximum frequency and the portions that would be acceptable to be included in a healthy eating pattern. This study outlines the methodology to include these foods in a national (Spanish) FBDG. Firstly, commonly consumed foods were selected and grouped, and portions were defined according to their nutritional value, so different foods within a group could be exchanged. Then, macronutrient profiles of occasionally consumed foods were compared to the frequently consumed food groups to determine to what extent they had a similar nutritional content. Finally, some combinations of foods, with or without the inclusion of occasionally consumed groups, were calculated. A maximum number of servings per group was defined according to their energy and nutrient content. Occasionally consumed foods can be included in a healthy diet as long as they are consumed in the small quantities as shown in this study and as long as they replace equivalent portions of other foods of frequent consumption. This new tool shows how to include occasionally consumed foods in a diet while maintaining its overall nutritional quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
Article
Association between Spatial Access to Food Outlets, Frequency of Grocery Shopping, and Objectively-Assessed and Self-Reported Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1974; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121974 - 13 Dec 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2481
Abstract
Because supermarkets are a critical part of the community food environment, the purpose of this paper is to examine the association between accessibility to the supermarket where participants were surveyed, frequency of shopping at the supermarket, and self-reported and objectively-assessed fruit and vegetable [...] Read more.
Because supermarkets are a critical part of the community food environment, the purpose of this paper is to examine the association between accessibility to the supermarket where participants were surveyed, frequency of shopping at the supermarket, and self-reported and objectively-assessed fruit and vegetable consumption. Accessibility was assessed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) measured distance and multiple versions of the modified Retail Food Environment Index (mRFEI), including a localized road network buffer version. Frequency of shopping was assessed using self-report. The National Cancer Institute Fruit and Vegetable screener was used to calculate daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Skin carotenoids were assessed using the “Veggie Meter™” which utilizes reflection spectroscopy to non-invasively assess skin carotenoids as an objective measure of fruit and vegetable consumption. Bivariate and multivariable statistics were used to examine the associations in RStudio. There was a positive association between skin carotenoids and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) and mRFEI scores, suggesting that WIC participation and a healthier food environment were associated with objectively-assessed fruit and vegetable consumption (skin carotenoids). Future research should examine these associations using longitudinal study designs and larger sample sizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Review

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Review
Improving Cardiovascular Health through Nudging Healthier Food Choices: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2520; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102520 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3244
Abstract
Obesity and metabolic syndrome are considered major public health problems, and their negative impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2) is profound. Targeting modifiable risk factors such as dietary habits is therefore of great importance. Many of today’s health [...] Read more.
Obesity and metabolic syndrome are considered major public health problems, and their negative impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2) is profound. Targeting modifiable risk factors such as dietary habits is therefore of great importance. Many of today’s health challenges with overweight and obesity may have behavioral roots, and traditional methods such as regulations and campaigns are often insufficient to improve dietary choices. Nudging or choice architecture might be a viable tool to influence people’s everyday choices and behaviors to better outcomes. This paper reviews the current state of the rapidly expanding number of experimental field studies that investigate the effects/associations of nudging on healthy food choices. A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, where 142 citations were identified. Based on selection criteria, six randomized controlled trials and 15 non-randomized controlled trials were ultimately included. The results of this systematic review show that many of the studies included traffic-light labeling, which may be a promising strategy. The reviewed findings, however, also highlight the challenges that confront experimental studies examining the impact of nudging on diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Review
An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews on Food Choice and Nutrition Published between 2017 and-2019
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2398; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102398 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3261
Abstract
The objective of this umbrella review was to provide an update on the latest knowledge in the field of food choice and nutrition. Databases Scopus and ISI-Web of Science were searched for “food choice” AND nutrition. Papers were included if they were systematic [...] Read more.
The objective of this umbrella review was to provide an update on the latest knowledge in the field of food choice and nutrition. Databases Scopus and ISI-Web of Science were searched for “food choice” AND nutrition. Papers were included if they were systematic reviews published between January 2017 and August 2019 on any subpopulation group. In total, 26 systematic reviews were kept. Data were extracted with a predetermined grid including first author, publication year, country, population group, explanatory constructs (intervention focus) and reported outcomes. Common indicators for outcome measures on food choice and nutrition studies are nutrition knowledge, healthy food choices, food purchases and food and nutrient intake. The most common strategy implemented to alter food choice with a nutritional aim is nutrition education, followed by provision of information through labels. Among children, parent modelling is key to achieving healthy food choices. In general, combining strategies seems to be the most effective way to achieve healthier food consumption and to maintain good nutrition in all age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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