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Article
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Sian Calvert, Robert C. Dempsey and Rachel Povey

Childhood obesity is a major global health concern. Understanding children's and adolescent’s eating behaviours and promoting healthier behaviours is key for reducing the…

Abstract

Purpose

Childhood obesity is a major global health concern. Understanding children's and adolescent’s eating behaviours and promoting healthier behaviours is key for reducing the negative health outcomes associated with obesity. The current study explored the perceptions of healthy eating behaviours and the influences on eating behaviours amongst 11-to-13-year-old secondary school students.

Design/methodology/approach

Nine semi-structured same-sex focus group discussions were conducted in schools located in deprived areas of England, with the discussions subjected to a thematic framework analysis.

Findings

Three main constructs were identified in the analysis as follows: (1) eating patterns and lifestyle, (2) social influences and (3) environmental influences. Participants understood what healthy eating behaviours are and the benefits of eating healthy; yet, they reported irregular mealtimes and consuming unhealthy snacks. Students reported that their parents and fellow student peers were strong influences on their own eating behaviours, with girls subjected to being teased by male students for attempting to eat healthily. Finally, students perceived that unhealthy foods were cheaper, tasted better and were readily available in their social environments compared to healthier options, making healthier behaviours less likely to occur.

Originality/value

Findings indicate that students had a good understanding of healthy eating behaviours but did not always practise them and are seemingly influenced by their social and environmental context. The promotion of healthier eating in this age group needs to challenge the misperceptions associated with the accessibility and social acceptability of unhealthy food items.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Amanda M Brouwer and Katie E. Mosack

This paper aims to test whether overall and specific healthy eating behaviors and intentions could be better predicted by expanding the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to…

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8700

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to test whether overall and specific healthy eating behaviors and intentions could be better predicted by expanding the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to include a healthy eater identity. Major health organizations suggest increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to address the growing number of overweight and obese individuals, yet researchers have questioned the degree to which existing behavioral intervention programs sufficiently explain healthy eating behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

Adult women (N = 79) completed questionnaires related to TPB components and healthy eater identity. Participants then recorded food consumption for four days using food diaries and food frequency questionnaires.

Findings

Using hierarchical multiple regressions, the authors demonstrated that identity as a healthy eater was a significant predictor of healthy eating intentions beyond the TPB components and a significant predictor of fruit and low-fat dairy consumption and overall healthy eating behaviors.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the limitation of correlational data from a homogenous population, results support previous research and add to existing literature by demonstrating the unique contribution identity has in predicting specific healthy diet behaviors of fruit and low-fat dairy consumption.

Originality/value

Findings advance our understanding of how young women think about nutrition and underscore which healthy eating behaviors might need to be directly targeted in interventions if such behaviors fall outside of the scope of common conceptions of what it means to be a “healthy eater”.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Veljko Marinković and Jovana Lazarević

The COVID-19 virus pandemic has strongly influenced consumer behaviour worldwide. This paper aims to investigate how risk perceptions and precautions related to COVID-19…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 virus pandemic has strongly influenced consumer behaviour worldwide. This paper aims to investigate how risk perceptions and precautions related to COVID-19 virus influence consumer eating habits and consequently, behaviour during shopping for food. Also, research tends to identify changes in consumer eating habits resulting from the current pandemic situation.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 237 consumers from Serbia were online surveyed during November 2020. Starting from the methodology of the SOR model (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974), the questionnaire consists of seven-point Likert scale statements that measure risk perceptions and precautions as stimulus (S), eating habits as an organism (O) and food choice, precautions during shopping for food and food purchasing patterns as a response (S).

Findings

Research results confirm the difference in consumers' eating habits during and before a pandemic. Also, results indicate that perceived risk and precautions related to the COVID-19 virus have a statistically significant influence on consumers' eating habits which have changed during a pandemic, finally resulting in significant effects on consumers' food shopping behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of this study are observing only a few aspects related to COVID-19 virus pandemic and consumer food shopping behaviour, as well as measuring precautions, perceived risk and food shopping behaviour at one point in time besides the fact that pandemic situation constantly changes.

Originality/value

The study indicates that food manufacturers should pay attention to the consumers' eating habits and food shopping behaviour changes under the circumstances of COVID-19 virus pandemic. Identified changes can be used as opportunities to gain a competitive advantage on the market.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2021

Cristina Chinea Montesdeoca, Ernesto Suárez, Bernardo Hernández and Gladys Rolo-González

The paper aims to determine whether people with different eating patterns, specifically meat-free diets, engage in other types of eco-friendly behaviours and whether the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to determine whether people with different eating patterns, specifically meat-free diets, engage in other types of eco-friendly behaviours and whether the meanings attributed to food allow for a better understanding of this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected between 2019 and 2020, on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Different instruments were used: The meaning of food in life questionnaire (MFLQ; Arbit et al., 2017); the dietarian identity questionnaire (DIQ; Rosenfeld and Burrow, 2018) and the frugal behaviour scale (Muiños et al., 2015) and two items were used to identify the frequency with which participants purchased ecological or second-hand products. The final sample consisted of 202 participants who ate a vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous diet. Spearman's Correlations were performed and the Kruskal–Wallis statistical test was used.

Findings

People with a vegan or vegetarian diet purchased ecological (p ≤ 0.001) and second-hand products (p = 0.006) more frequently compared to omnivores. Furthermore, the meanings attributed to food, specifically the moral, sacred and health meanings, were related to differences in eating patterns (p ≤ 0.001), while also being related to some eco-friendly purchase and consumption behaviours. Lastly, frugal behaviour was only found to be related to the health factor of meaning in food (rs = 0.27).

Research limitations/implications

The measurement used to evaluate the purchase of ecological and second-hand products is very simple/the role of the meaning of food in guiding more eco-friendly behaviours and promoting less ecologically impactful eating patterns.

Originality/value

The study provides valuable information on how vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous diets relate to eco-friendly behaviours.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2021

Seok Tyug Tan, Seok Shin Tan and Chin Xuan Tan

This study aims to investigate the relationships among screen time-based sedentary behaviour, eating self-regulatory skills and weight status among private university…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationships among screen time-based sedentary behaviour, eating self-regulatory skills and weight status among private university students during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 186 private university students was enrolled in this cross-sectional study using a combination of snowball and purposive sampling approaches. Anthropometric measurements, including body height, body weight before and during the MCO enforcement were self-reported by the respondents. Screen-time based sedentary behaviour sedentary behaviour was evaluated using HELENA sedentary behaviour questionnaire, whereas the Self-Regulation of Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (SREBQ) was used to determine the eating self-regulatory skills in MCO.

Findings

Respondents spent most of the time on the internet for non-study purposes (148 ± 77.7 min). It is also noted that 64.5% of the respondents had medium eating self-regulatory skill during the MCO, with an average score of 3.0 ± 0.5. Findings from path analysis confirmed that poor eating self-regulation significantly contributed to the weight gain during home confinement (ß = −0.24, p = 0.01). In conclusion, eating self-regulation, but not total screen time, emerged as the determinant for weight gain during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Originality/value

According to the authors’ knowledge, this study was among the few that investigated sedentary behaviour, eating self-regulatory skills and weight status of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2019

Nicole Atkins Withrow and Leticia Alvidrez

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive eating screening inventory named the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behaviors, Motor, Inventory for Eating

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive eating screening inventory named the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behaviors, Motor, Inventory for Eating (SAMIE). The SAMIE will accurately screen nutritional risk by identifying the four primary domains that affect eating in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Design/methodology/approach

The development of the questions was executed in three steps. First, a review of the literature was conducted. Second, expert opinion was acquired which was critical in developing the questions. Third, ten think-aloud protocols were set up to simplify the first draft. Prior to the pilot study, four participants were recruited to complete the SAMIE online.

Findings

A total of 162 participants completed the online demographic questionnaire and the SAMIE. Overall, participants did not differ between groups for demographic characteristics, BMI status and dietary intake. After conducting a series of statistical tests, results illustrated that the SAMIE is a valid measure to screen nutritional risk in children with ASD.

Practical implications

Due to the complexities of problematic eating behaviors in ASD, there is a need for a comprehensive screening inventory that encompasses the four domains that impact eating in an ASD. These domains have been identified as, namely, aberrant mealtime behavior, eating skills, dietary intake, and sensory processing and have yet to be utilized collectively to screen for nutritional risk in children with ASD.

Originality/value

The SAMIE is a novel eating screening inventory that will standardize the methodology for screening nutritional risk that can be used in clinical, community and research settings.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

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…

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5630

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

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2018

EunHa Jeong, SooCheong (Shawn) Jang, Carl Behnke, James Anderson and Jonathon Day

The purpose of this study is to explore the dimensions of restaurant customers’ engagement or disengagement with healthy eating in terms of individual and environmental…

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1424

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the dimensions of restaurant customers’ engagement or disengagement with healthy eating in terms of individual and environmental factors to develop a scale. The results identified the underlying constructs of customers’ individual motives for and perceived barriers to healthy eating, as well as environmental elements of restaurants that encourage or discourage healthy eating.

Design/methodology/approach

To develop an appropriate set of measures to assess factors influencing customers’ healthy eating behaviors at restaurants, the current study undertook the five steps of scale development suggested by Churchill (1979): specifying the domain of constructs, generating a pool of initial measurement items, assessing content adequacy, administering questionnaires (an online survey method) and purifying and finalizing the measurement (via exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using 410 samples and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) using 423 samples).

Findings

The results revealed ten individual factors (health, body image, weight control, feeling better, unappealing food, cost perception, lack of knowledge, state of mind (stress), lack of self-control and negative influences) and five environmental factors (healthy indications, social impact, availability of healthy menu, price policy and unhealthy indications) influencing customers’ healthy eating behaviors at restaurants.

Originality/value

This study developed an appropriate set of measures to assess individual and environmental factors influencing restaurant customers’ healthy eating behaviors, along with identifying underlying sub-constructs. The reliability and validity of the scale and the factor structure are presented and potential applications and theoretical contributions of the scale are provided as well.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Maša Černelič-Bizjak and Raquel P.F. Guiné

Understanding humans’ food intake practices is helpful in reducing health problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between eating behaviours

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding humans’ food intake practices is helpful in reducing health problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between eating behaviours and binge eating and to examine the influence of sex and weight status on these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of seventy-eight participants (39 with overweight; mean age: 38.1 ± 6.3 years; body mass index [BMI]: 25 ± 5.7 kg/m2) underwent measurements of binge eating, eating styles and body compositions. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was performed to predict binge eating as a function of eating styles and demographic variables.

Findings

Women presented higher levels of binge eating symptomatology and emotional eating than men. The analysis showed that age and gender did not emerge as important predictors of binge eating. In contrast, emotional and external eating and BMI were found to be important predictors of binge eating. The results indicate that higher emotional and external eating behaviour with higher BMI are important risk factors for binge eating in a non-clinical sample.

Originality/value

In this study, BMI was used as a causal factor rather than a consequence of deregulation of eating behaviour. An individual’s tendency to binge eat may be determined by BMI, emotional eating and sensitivity to environmental food stimuli. Understanding sex differences and causal relationships between eating behaviours is critical for the prevention and treatment of obesity and related health problems and for proper dietary management.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Tino Bech-Larsen and Laura Kazbare

The purpose of this paper is to describe two exploratory studies of how experience (lacking, failed, or successful) of trying to implement healthy eating behaviours

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816

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe two exploratory studies of how experience (lacking, failed, or successful) of trying to implement healthy eating behaviours influences future intentions to maintain and expand such behaviours (so called “spillover”).

Design/methodology/approach

The two survey-based (n=2,120) studies involved Danes aged 13-15 and 55-70 years, respectively.

Findings

The studies showed that the self-reported experience of successfully increasing the intake of healthy (fruit and vegetables) and decreasing the intake of less healthy (soft drinks and animal fats) categories had spillover effects on the intention to pursue these behaviours in the future. For all the categories included, the intentions of the respondents who had tried and succeeded were significantly higher than those of the other respondents. The intentions of the group who had tried but failed were also significantly higher compared to those of the non-triers. Moreover, whether successful or not, both the experience of trying to increase the intake of healthy and to reduce the intake of less healthy food had a significant positive influence on the intention to try the opposite type of behaviour in the future. Healthy (fruit and vegetables) and decreasing the intake of less healthy (soft drinks and animal fats) categories had spillover effects on the intention to pursue these behaviours in the future. For all the categories included, the intentions of the respondents who had tried and succeeded were significantly higher than those of the other respondents. The intentions of the group who had tried but failed were also significantly higher compared to those of the non-triers. Moreover, whether successful or not, both the experience of trying to increase the intake of healthy and to reduce the intake of less healthy food had a significant positive influence on the intention to try the opposite type of behaviour in the future.

Originality/value

As regards spillover between approach and avoidance behaviours related to healthy eating, only few studies have been published. The studies reported here contribute to the understanding of how experience with different types of healthy eating affect future intentions to change eating habits and provides insight for health promoters in their choice of which specific eating behaviours to address.

Details

Health Education, vol. 114 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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