The purpose of this paper is to identify the profiles of those frequenting full-service restaurants and eating raw vegetable salads, as well as to analyze the influence of socio-demographic variables and of the tendency for social desirability in consumption frequencies.
A non-probabilistic consumer sample (n=630) was interviewed in the city of Campinas, Brazil. Besides the frequency of eating in full-service restaurants and the frequency of eating salads (as a function of the meal type and week day) in this type of restaurant, the survey instrument was also composed by socio-demographic variables and a social desirability scale. To compare data, non-parametric tests were used.
Of the interviewees, 52.3 percent were shown to eat in full-service restaurants at least once a week. The frequency of eating salads in full-service restaurant stood out as being significantly higher (p<0.05) for weekday lunches. Individuals who graduated in the areas of health or food showed a significantly higher frequency for the consumption of salads at weekends. Apparently the social desirability did not influence the responses of the consumers with respect to the frequencies studied.
The sample was of a non-probabilistic type, bringing reservations with respect to generalizations.
Socio-demographic variables should be considered in elaborating strategies for promoting vegetable salads consumption in restaurants. Health and nutrition education programs can be effective in aiding consumers to choose healthier food in this context.
Studies about frequency of salad consumption in restaurants are scarce. The influence of social desirability bias on reported frequency was analyzed in this paper.
The authors are grateful to the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq/Brazil (Process 143493/2008-6) for providing a fellowship to the first author, and to the company EasyStat for carrying out the statistical analyses.
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