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Household food providers’ attitudes to the regulation of food marketing and government promotion of healthy foods in five countries in the Asia Pacific region

Anthony Worsley (Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)
Wei Chun Wang (Central Clinical School, Monash University, Frankston, Australia)
Rani Sarmugam (School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)
Quynh Pham (School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)
Judhiastuty Februhartanty (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Regional Centre for Food and Nutrition, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia)
Stacey Ridley (School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 7 June 2018

Issue publication date: 4 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand middle class household food providers’ attitudes to the regulation of food marketing and the promotion of healthy food practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional, online questionnaire survey was administered to 3,925 urban respondents in Indonesia, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore and Vietnam. Cross-tabulation, confirmatory factor analyses and multiple regression analyses were employed.

Findings

Most respondents supported government communications to promote healthy eating and to a lesser extent, regulatory measures to control unhealthy food marketing. Personal values and country of residence were more strongly associated with the respondents’ views than demographic variables. Overall, strongest support for nutrition promotion and for stricter regulation of food marketing was seen in Shanghai, Indonesia and Vietnam. Broadly, two groups were identified across the region: those who held equality-nature or tradition-security-conformity personal values, who disapproved of food marketing but supported government health promotion campaigns, and, those with stronger hedonist values who held opposite views.

Research limitations/implications

First, a wider range of personal values could be included in future studies to better represent Asian values. Second, changes in population views could be assessed in future longitudinal studies. Finally, future studies should include dietary assessments and the views of people from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Practical implications

These findings suggest that health policy makers and communicators need to frame their communications to match the world views of household food providers in their countries.

Originality/value

The study provides confirmation of attitude-values theories within five different countries in the Asia Pacific region and demonstrates the importance of personal values and country of residence in influencing food providers’ views.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the staff of GMI for their efficient administration of the Families and Food survey. The authors are also grateful for the valuable, incisive comments of an anonymous reviewer. Funding was provided for this research by a small grant from the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University.

Citation

Worsley, A., Wang, W.C., Sarmugam, R., Pham, Q., Februhartanty, J. and Ridley, S. (2018), "Household food providers’ attitudes to the regulation of food marketing and government promotion of healthy foods in five countries in the Asia Pacific region", British Food Journal, Vol. 120 No. 6, pp. 1236-1249. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2017-0269

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited