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Article

Toby Bartle, Barbara Mullan, Elizaveta Novoradovskaya, Vanessa Allom and Penelope Hasking

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of choice on the development and maintenance of a fruit consumption behaviour and if behaviour change was…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of choice on the development and maintenance of a fruit consumption behaviour and if behaviour change was underpinned by habit strength.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2×2×3 mixed model experimental design was used. The independent variables were pictorial cue and fruit consumption manipulated on two levels: choice and no choice, across three-time points: baseline, post-intervention (after two weeks) and follow-up (one week later). Participants (n=166) completed demographics, the self-report habit index and fruit intake at all three-time points.

Findings

All participants showed significant increases in fruit consumption and habit strength at post-intervention and follow-up. However, participants provided neither choice of cue nor fruit showed a significant decrease in consumption at follow-up.

Practical implications

Fruit consumption can be significantly increased with a relatively simple intervention; choice seems to have an effect on behaviour maintenance, providing no choice negatively effects behaviour maintenance post-intervention. This may inform future interventions designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

Originality/value

The intervention that the authors designed and implemented in the current study is the first of its kind, where choice was manipulated in two different ways and behaviour was changed with a simple environmental cue intervention.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Barbara Mullan, Cara Wong, Emily Kothe and Carolyn Maccann

Breakfast consumption is associated with a range of beneficial health outcomes including improved overall diet quality, lower BMI, decreased risk of chronic disease, and…

Abstract

Purpose

Breakfast consumption is associated with a range of beneficial health outcomes including improved overall diet quality, lower BMI, decreased risk of chronic disease, and improved cognitive function. Although there are many models of health and social behaviour, there is a paucity of research utilising these in breakfast consumption and very few studies that directly compare these models. This study aims to compare the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and the health action process approach (HAPA) in predicting breakfast consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

University students (N=102; M=19.5 years) completed a questionnaire measuring demographics, TPB and HAPA motivational variables, and intentions. Behaviour and HAPA volitional variables were measured four weeks later.

Findings

Using structural equation modelling, it was found that the TPB model was a superior fit to the data across a range of model indices compared to the HAPA. Both models significantly predicted both intentions and behaviour at follow up; however, the TPB predicted a higher proportion of the variance in breakfast consumption (47.6 per cent) than the HAPA (44.8 per cent). Further, the volitional variables did not mediate the intention-behaviour gap, and the data were not an adequate statistical fit to the model compared to the TPB.

Research limitations/implications

The results support the use of the TPB and show that some aspects of the HAPA are useful in predicting breakfast consumption, suggesting that risk perception and self-efficacy be targeted in interventions to increase behaviour. The volitional variables did not appear to mediate breakfast consumption indicating that intention is still the strongest predictor, at least in this behaviour.

Originality/value

The current study is the first to compare the TPB and HAPA in predicting breakfast consumption.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 115 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Barbara Mullan, Cara Wong, Jemma Todd, Esther Davis and Emily Jane Kothe

The purpose of this paper is to utilise the comprehensive Food Safety Knowledge Instrument to compare food hygiene knowledge across a population of high school and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to utilise the comprehensive Food Safety Knowledge Instrument to compare food hygiene knowledge across a population of high school and university students in Australia and the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 475 students from secondary schools and universities in Australia and the UK took part in a survey, which included a Food Safety Knowledge Instrument and demographic items.

Findings

Food safety knowledge was generally very low. High school students had a mean score of only 38 per cent, while university students just reached a “pass” with a mean of 54 per cent. Demographics accounted for 41 per cent of variance in food knowledge scores. Female gender, being at university rather than high school, and living out of home rather than with parents were associated with greater food knowledge. Residing in Australia rather than the UK and being older were also associated with greater knowledge; however, these findings were subsumed by education group. Socio-economic status was not a significant predictor of food knowledge.

Practical implications

Identifying demographic and cultural differences in food knowledge can help to identify at-risk populations to better target in theory and knowledge-based interventions.

Originality/value

This study is the first to apply the knowledge instrument in an Australian population. Understanding the baseline knowledge in this population is an important first step at developing effective interventions for food safety.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Ting Ding, Barbara Mullan and Kristina Xavier

Adhering to the guidelines regarding the consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with positive health outcomes. Subjective well-being has been demonstrated to…

Abstract

Purpose

Adhering to the guidelines regarding the consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with positive health outcomes. Subjective well-being has been demonstrated to have a causal influence on positive health outcomes. The aim of this paper is to examine whether subjective well-being could add to the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) in predicting fruit and vegetable consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 72 undergraduates completed online measures of the TPB variables, subjective well-being components (happiness and life satisfaction) and fruit and vegetable consumption at a single time point.

Findings

Subjective well-being made a significant contribution to the variance explained for both intention to consume fruit and vegetables and actual fruit and vegetable consumption (1.7% and 4.3%, respectively). Perceived behavioural control and happiness were found to be significant unique predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption.

Originality/value

The TPB appears a useful model for predicting fruit and vegetable consumption, which is enhanced by the addition of subjective well-being variables. The current study provides direction to future interventions, suggesting that targeting perceived behavioural control and the subjective well-being component of happiness may be useful for improving fruit and vegetable consumption in young adults.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Barbara A. Mullan, Cara L. Wong and Kathleen O'Moore

The purpose of the current paper is to investigate the determinants of hygienic food handling behaviour using the health action process approach (HAPA) and to examine if…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the current paper is to investigate the determinants of hygienic food handling behaviour using the health action process approach (HAPA) and to examine if the volitional components of the model or the addition of past behaviour could explain additional variance in behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

A prospective four‐week study investigating the predictive ability of HAPA variables and past behaviour was used. At time 1, 109 participants completed self‐report questionnaires regarding their action self‐efficacy, risk awareness, outcome expectancies and intentions to hygienically prepare food and past behaviour. At time 2, participants returned a follow‐up questionnaire, which measured behaviour, planning, maintenance and recovery self efficacy. Structural equation modelling was used to compare three versions of the HAPA model.

Findings

The first model showed that intention was a significant predictor of behaviour explaining 40 per cent of the variance and was the best fit. The second model, which included the volitional components of the HAPA model, did significantly increase the proportion of behaviour explained. The third model, which included past behaviour, increased the variance explained but was not a superior fit to the previous two models.

Practical implications

The results of this study confirm that aspects of the HAPA may be useful in determining hygienic food handling behaviour. However, volitional variables do not appear to be important in this behaviour. The implications of this for future research and interventions are elucidated.

Originality/value

The current study is one of the first to use the HAPA model to predict hygienic food handling behaviour.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 112 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Vanessa Allom and Barbara Mullan

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing, particularly in young adults who recently have been shown to experience more weight gain than other demographics…

Abstract

Purpose

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing, particularly in young adults who recently have been shown to experience more weight gain than other demographics. Research has focused on factors leading to this weight gain, implicating the abundance of unhealthy foods in the direct environment, yet limited research has examined why some individuals are able to successfully regulate their eating behaviour in this “food-rich environment”. The aim of this research was to explore the perceptions and experiences of successful healthy eaters in order to determine factors that distinguish this group from unhealthy eaters.

Design/methodology/approach

Thirty-five healthy weight young adults, who considered themselves to be healthy eaters, participated in seven semi-structured focus groups. Key questions examined how these individuals regulated their eating behaviour and their perceptions regarding such self-control processes.

Findings

Thematic analysis revealed that individuals who are successful at maintaining healthy eating behaviour perceive the same barriers as non-successful individuals, yet are able to employ self-control techniques to overcome these barriers. Additionally, continually exerting self-control appeared to facilitate the formation of healthy eating habits.

Research limitations/implications

Future research may benefit from attempting to modify self-control ability and develop healthy habits.

Originality/value

While factors leading to obesity and the cognitions of those who are overweight have been extensively examined, limited research has focused on those who are able to regulate their eating behaviour. Additionally, limited qualitative research has examined implicit theories of self-control in an eating context.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article

Emily J. Kothe and Barbara Mullan

A number of interventions aimed at increasing breakfast consumption have been designed and implemented in recent years. This paper seeks to review the current research in…

Abstract

Purpose

A number of interventions aimed at increasing breakfast consumption have been designed and implemented in recent years. This paper seeks to review the current research in this area with the aim of identifying common features of successful interventions and strengths and weaknesses in the current research methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review of interventions aimed at increasing breakfast‐eating frequency in a non‐clinical sample was conducted.

Findings

A total of 11 interventions were identified and reviewed; of these, only three resulted in an increase in breakfast consumption at follow‐up. The three studies that were successful in changing breakfast consumption all included a psychosocial component that was successful in increasing positive attitudes towards nutrition in the intervention protocol. Many of the breakfast‐eating interventions included in this review have methodological weaknesses, including difficulties in implementing interventions, small sample sizes, and selection biases, which future researchers should consider when designing and evaluating their own interventions.

Research limitations/implications

These findings highlight the importance of including psychosocial components in interventions designed to increase breakfast consumption, while also signalling issues that should be addressed when designing and reporting future interventions.

Originality/value

This review was the first to investigate the efficacy of interventions aimed at increasing breakfast consumption. The identification of weaknesses in the current body of research, and of successful and unsuccessful intervention practices is an important step in developing successful interventions in the future.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Melanie Babooram, Barbara Ann Mullan and Louise Sharpe

The aim of this paper is to qualitatively examine the ways in which primary school children, aged between 7 and 12, perceive various facets of obesity as defined by the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to qualitatively examine the ways in which primary school children, aged between 7 and 12, perceive various facets of obesity as defined by the common sense model of illness representation (CCM).

Design/methodology/approach

The study was qualitative in nature. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 33 children on all dimensions of the CSM. Twenty four children were normal weight and nine were overweight. A drawing task formed the methodology for the “identity” section of the interview.

Findings

Although children identified food intake as a main cause of obesity, almost half did not name sedentary behaviours as a cause of obesity. Duration (timeline) of obesity was regarded by most children as reliant on a person's undertaking of positive health behaviours. Normal weight children were found to list more severe consequences of obesity than the overweight group. It was found that experience contributed to the detailed knowledge of overweight children's perceptions of cures of obesity. Overweight children also spoke of personal incidents of barriers to cures.

Practical imlications

The findings suggest that the CSMs can be used to classify children's perceptions of obesity. Future childhood obesity interventions can utilise these findings to create campaigns and strategies that are more consistent with children's understandings of this condition.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge, no previous study has examined children's perceptions of obesity beyond perceived causes.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article

Melanie Babooram, Barbara Ann Mullan and Louise Sharpe

The purpose of this paper is to investigate children's understandings of the intent and importance of current media initiatives designed to target childhood obesity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate children's understandings of the intent and importance of current media initiatives designed to target childhood obesity. Semi‐structured interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis, for the responses of overweight and normal weight children.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 33 children were interviewed, 24 of normal weight and nine overweight. They were shown two print and four television advertisements from the New South Wales Health Department web site that were popularly broadcast between 2003 and 2007. Children were then asked if they had seen the advertisement prior to the interview, and their understanding of the intent and importance of the advertisements.

Findings

Most children in both weight groups recalled seeing five out of the six presented advertisements prior to interview. The main themes identified were “Health Maintenance” and “Illness Prevention” for five of the six advertisements. Overweight children were more numerous in their detection of a health message as opposed to normal weight children, who mostly commented on the safety aspect of advertisement six.

Practical implications

Future evaluations of mediated health campaigns should go beyond recording simple recall of campaign material and investigate instead the understandings of target groups. Mediated health campaigns should also specify messages to particular target groups, as they appear to be most likely to facilitate behaviour change.

Originality/value

Mediated health campaigns are mostly evaluated quantitatively rather than by qualitative means. In addition, no study has evaluated the views of overweight and normal weight children with regards to these health campaigns.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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