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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(8)2022 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809856

ABSTRACT

Experimental and real-life evaluations show that the use of front-of-package warning labels (FoP) in unhealthy foods is well understood and can modify people's behaviors. However, it is unclear whether these effects remain in the long term because of the risk of message fatigue. The purpose of this study is to explore after four years of implementation of the Chilean Food Labelling law people's dietary behavior and FoP labels attention. Nine focus groups of mothers (7-10 people each) of children (2-14 yo) were conducted in Santiago, Chile, and macrocodes were developed, combining an iterative process of deductive and inductive thematic analyses. We found that mothers experienced labels' fatigue but also had greater knowledge about nutrition and appreciation for more natural foods. This greater knowledge about better nutrition interferes with the perception that healthier and less processed foods are financial and physically inaccessible. The key role of schools as an environment for promoting healthier diets in children was strengthened by the mothers. These results suggest that policies based on providing consumer information need reinforcement campaigns to maintain their effectiveness and that we also need to advance policies to improve access and affordability of healthy foods to ensure better diets.


Subject(s)
Consumer Behavior , Food Labeling , Child , Chile , Choice Behavior , Costs and Cost Analysis , Fatigue , Female , Food Preferences , Government , Humans , Nutritive Value
2.
Nutrients ; 14(7)2022 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776309

ABSTRACT

The containment measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic affected food-related activities, influencing dietary behavior, food habits, and dietary choices. This study aimed to compare the relationship between food involvement and dietary choices before and during the pandemic, investigating the role played by food in dietary habits. Responses given by 2773 Italian consumers to an online survey were studied through the Food Involvement Scale (FIS) and correlated to eating habits. FIS scores were then used to explain the importance given to food in circumstances related to well-being, health, and protection against COVID-19 and used to study the relationship between FIS and bioactive compound knowledge, use, and efficacy against COVID-19. The consumers more involved in food issues recognized the importance of food in circumstances related to well-being, health, and protection against COVID-19 and improved their diet during the pandemic. Moreover, consumers who gave more importance to food also revealed higher attention to the use of healthy substances, such as bioactive compounds, considering them effective against COVID-19. These results showed that food experiencing and involvement could be important elements to promote healthy dietary habits that are essential to maintain physical and mental health during emergency periods such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Feeding Behavior , Food Preferences , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765720

ABSTRACT

Nutrition content and health claims are widely used globally on both food labels and in food advertising. This study explored how New Zealand consumers understand, perceive, and use nutrition content and health claims on food labels. A qualitative approach was used with semi-structured in-depth online interviews and in-person focus groups including 49 participants, aged ≥25 years responsible for household food shopping. Transcripts were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis using inductive coding, with development of five themes-(1) aware of claims but did not use, (2) mistrust and scepticism, (3) confusion and misinterpretation, (4) using claims to guide food choice, and (5) not all claims are equal. For theme 1, price and habit were found to be the most influential in driving food choice. Underlying theme 2 was the perception by most of nutrition and health claims as marketing. Scepticism was exacerbated when nutrient claims were displayed on inherently unhealthy products. However participants with specific dietary requirements did find claims helpful. Restricting nutrient claims to foods meeting a healthy nutrient profile aligned to the existing Health Star Rating system, education about regulation and supporting claims with more contextual information may increase trust, the perceived value of claims and therefore their utility.


Subject(s)
Food Labeling , Marketing , Consumer Behavior , Food Preferences , Humans , New Zealand , Nutritive Value
4.
Public Health Nutr ; 25(4): 904-912, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758095

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe meat consumption rationalisation and relationships with meat consumption patterns and food choice motivations in New Zealand adolescents. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study of adolescents from high schools across New Zealand. Demographics, dietary habits, and motivations and attitudes towards food were assessed by online questionnaire and anthropometric measurements taken by researchers. The 4Ns questionnaire assessed meat consumption rationalisation with four subscales: 'Nice', 'Normal', 'Necessary' and 'Natural'. SETTING: Nineteen secondary schools from eight regions in New Zealand, with some purposive sampling of adolescent vegetarians in Otago, New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: Questionnaires were completed by 385 non-vegetarian and vegetarian (self-identified) adolescents. RESULTS: A majority of non-vegetarian adolescents agreed that consuming meat was 'nice' (65 %), but fewer agreed that meat consumption was 'necessary' (51 %). Males agreed more strongly than females with all 4N subscales. High meat consumers were more likely to agree than to disagree that meat consumption was nice, normal, necessary and natural, and vegetarians tended to disagree with all rationalisations. Adolescent non-vegetarians whose food choice was motivated more by convenience, sensory appeal, price and familiarity tended to agree more with all 4N subscales, whereas adolescents motivated by animal welfare and environmental concerns were less likely to agree. CONCLUSIONS: To promote a reduction in meat consumption in adolescents, approaches will need to overcome beliefs that meat consumption is nice, normal, necessary and natural.


Subject(s)
Diet, Vegetarian , Meat , Adolescent , Animals , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Food Preferences , Humans , Male , New Zealand
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1073, 2022 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713164

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has altered people's lives around the world. Here we document population-wide shifts in dietary interests in 18 countries in 2020, as revealed through time series of Google search volumes. We find that during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic there was an overall surge in food interest, larger and longer-lasting than the surge during typical end-of-year holidays in Western countries. The shock of decreased mobility manifested as a drastic increase in interest in consuming food at home and a corresponding decrease in consuming food outside of home. The largest (up to threefold) increases occurred for calorie-dense carbohydrate-based foods such as pastries, bakery products, bread, and pies. The observed shifts in dietary interests have the potential to globally affect food consumption and health outcomes. These findings can inform governmental and organizational decisions regarding measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on diet and nutrition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diet , Food Preferences , Pandemics , Cooking , Energy Intake , Food , Humans , Nutritional Status , SARS-CoV-2
6.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260488, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562348

ABSTRACT

Analysis of consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for sustainable foods produced using new agri-food technologies is required to enhance the uptake of innovations that accelerate the transition towards sustainable food systems. Consumers' willingness to buy new food products, with no or limited consumption experience, mainly depends on their food choice motivational orientations (promotion- vs prevention-orientation). The objective of this study was to elicit consumers' WTP for foods that are produced with microbial applications during the plant production phase with the aim to reduce the use of synthetic chemicals in crop farming, as well as to understand the associations of food choice motives, personal and socio-demographic factors with the WTP. We used contingent valuation to elicit consumers' WTP for three food products (wheat bread, consumer potatoes and tomato sauce) through online surveys. Data were collected from 291 consumers, primarily from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Descriptive statistics, latent variable modelling and logistic regression were used to analysis data. Results show that more than two-third of the respondents are willing to pay premiums of at least 0.11 euro per kg of food products for reductions in synthetic chemical use by at least 50% due to microbial applications. The amount of WTP increases with the level of reductions in synthetic chemical use. The majority of the respondents are promotion-oriented consumers in relation to their food involvement, and are more likely to pay premiums for the sustainably produced food products. Environmentally concerned consumers are also more likely to pay premiums, whereas health concerned consumers are not. This study contributes to understanding of consumers' attitude and perceived health risks towards foods obtained using microbial applications, and the heterogeneity of their preferences. Results provide insights for identifying potential buyers of foods produced using microbial applications, and to set prices according to the levels of consumers' WTP.


Subject(s)
Consumer Behavior/economics , Plants, Edible/growth & development , Food Preferences , Germany , Humans , Italy , Logistic Models , Netherlands , Online Systems , Plants, Edible/microbiology
7.
Nutrients ; 13(12)2021 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538436

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has been associated with both increased anxiety, deterioration in diet and weight gain. These associations may differ by sex. The present report examines differences by sex in diet quality in order to determine whether associations between diet and psychological stress during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic differed by sex. This online study is available internationally in seven languages. The Mediterranean Diet Score was used to measure diet quality, while the General Anxiety Disorder 7-point scale (GAD-7) was used to measure anxiety. Findings were compared by self-reported sex (male vs. female). A total of 3797 respondents provided informed consent and met eligibility criteria, of whom 526 women were omitted due to being pregnant or six months or less post-partum, or due to reproductive status not being reported. Thus, 3271 individuals are included in the present report, of whom 71.2% were women. The median age of women was 30 (interquartile range (IQR) = 16) years vs. 31 (IQR = 19) years, p = 0.079. The median diet quality score was 9 (IQ = 3) in both women and men (p = 0.75). Despite the overall similarity in diet score, several components of the score differed significantly by sex. Women reported consuming significantly more olive oil, daily servings of vegetables, and weekly servings of sweet baked goods. Men reported consuming significantly more sweetened/carbonated drinks, red meat, alcohol, legumes, and hummus/tahini. Women reported a GAD-7 score of 6 (IQR = 8), while men reported 3 (6), p < 0.001. An inverse association was detected between the Mediterranean diet score and the GAD-7 score in both women (rho = -0.166, p < 0.001) and men (rho = -0.154, p < 0.001), and the correlation coefficients did not differ by sex (p = 0.76). Mediterranean diet score and age both reduced the odds of elevated anxiety (GAD-7 ≥ 10), while female sex, deterioration of diet quality during the outbreak, unemployment, and completing the survey in English increased the odds of this outcome. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, overall diet quality did not differ by sex; however, some differences by sex in components of the total score were detected. Moderate to severe anxiety was positively associated with female sex and poorer diet quality even after controlling for age, employment status, and the language in which the survey was performed.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Food Preferences/psychology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Characteristics , Stress, Psychological , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology
8.
Nutrients ; 13(11)2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524097

ABSTRACT

Lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced feeding behaviour and lifestyle in children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to analyse feeding behaviour and lifestyle in children and adolescents one year after lockdown by the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile. In this cross-sectional study an online survey was implemented in 1083 parents and caregivers regarding their children's feeding behaviour and lifestyle and sociodemographic background. The results showed that "eat breakfast daily" (89.2%), "not overnight food intake" (69.9%) and "not fast-food intake" (66.0%) were the most frequent reported feeding behaviours, particularly in pre-school children. Respondents declaring healthy feeding behaviours and lifestyle were 23.4 and 23.7%, respectively, with no significant differences by sex. In pre-school children, families with three or fewer members and parents or caregivers with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree reported a significantly better feeding behaviour and lifestyle compared to families with more than three members and parents or caregivers without an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. In conclusion, the pandemic lockdown had a negative impact in lifestyle in children and particularly in adolescents. Healthier feeding behaviour was associated with fewer family members and parents or caregivers with at least an undergraduate degree.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior , COVID-19 , Child Behavior , Feeding Behavior , Life Style , Quarantine , Adolescent , Age Factors , Child , Child, Preschool , Chile , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diet Surveys , Diet, Healthy , Family , Female , Food Preferences , Humans , Male , Nutritive Value , Socioeconomic Factors , Time Factors
9.
Food Res Int ; 150(Pt A): 110752, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492022

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and especially the lockdowns coming with it have been a disruptive event also for food consumption. In order to study the impact of the pandemic on eating habits, self-reported changes in food-related behaviours were investigated in ten European countries by means of an online survey. A latent class cluster analysis distinguished five clusters and showed that different types of consumers can be distinguished based on how they react to the pandemic as regards their eating habits. While food-related behaviours were resilient for 60% of the sample, another 35% reported more enjoyment in cooking and eating, more time in the kitchen and more family meals. Among those, a slight majority also showed signs of more mindful eating, as indicated by more deliberate choices and increased consumption of healthy food, whereas a slight minority reported more consumption of indulgence food. Only 5% indicated less involvement with food. As the COVID-19 pandemic is a disruptive event, some of these changes may have habit-breaking properties and open up new opportunities and challenges for food policy and food industry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Food Preferences , Humans , Meals , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Nutrients ; 13(11)2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On Wednesday 18/03/2020 Belgium was placed in lockdown in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Lockdown can lead to loneliness, boredom, anger, anxiety and depression, which in turn have an influence on food choices and physical activity (PA). This study aims to map the adjustments in food choices and PA by Flemish adults during lockdown. METHODS: Chi square tests were performed to investigate the relationship between adjustments in food choices, PA and demographic variables. RESULTS: A total of 1.129 respondents filled in the online questionnaire, aged between 18 and 81 years. The healthiest food choices were made by respondents living alone during lockdown, whilst people cohabiting with others increased their PA significantly. Moreover, the dietary adjustments of adults living with children evolved more favourably to healthier choices then those cohousing with other adults. However, respondents living with other adults showed a more favourable pattern regarding adjustments in PA. The strongest increase in sedentary behaviour was observed in students. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows the impact of lockdown on both PA and food choices, where healthier adjustments were observed in PA and respondents were prone to consume unhealthier food.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Choice Behavior , Diet , Feeding Behavior , Health Behavior , Quarantine , Sedentary Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Belgium , Diet/adverse effects , Diet, Healthy , Exercise , Female , Food Preferences , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nutritive Value , Young Adult
11.
Nutrients ; 13(11)2021 Oct 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480896

ABSTRACT

Stay-at-home orders have abruptly altered food purchasing behaviour, dietary habits, and food choice motives. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the trajectory of food choice motives and their associations with the weight status of Malaysian youths in the time of COVID-19. Socio-demographic information and anthropometric measurements were self-reported by the respondents, while the food choice motives were assessed using a validated 38-item food choice questionnaire (FCQ). Of the 1013 Malaysian youths, 48.6% gained weight due to the confinement, with an average weight gain of 3.90 ± 2.92 kg. On the other hand, 47.0% to 73.0% of the youths changed their food choice motives in the time of COVID-19. Of the 10 motives, convenience (48.5%) had the largest percentage increase, followed by weight control (47.0%) and health (45.3%). Moreover, the mean scores of health (t = -3.324, p = 0.001), convenience (t = -5.869, p < 0.001), weight control (t = -7.532, p < 0.001), natural content (t = -5.957, p < 0.001), ethical concern (t = -4.419, p < 0.001) and price (t = -3.737, p < 0.001) were significantly higher during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic. Findings from the multinomial regression model revealed that youths highly concerned for weight control were more likely to be in the weight loss category (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.633, Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.230-2.168, p = 0.001). Conversely, those who gained weight due to the pandemic confinement highly valued natural content in foods (AOR = 0.653, CI = 0.481-0.886, p = 0.006) when making their food choices in this unprecedented pandemic. In conclusion, Malaysian youths made healthier food choices to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior , Body-Weight Trajectory , COVID-19 , Choice Behavior , Diet, Healthy , Feeding Behavior , Health Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Food Preferences , Humans , Male , Motivation , Nutritive Value , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Weight Gain , Weight Loss , Young Adult
12.
Nutrients ; 13(11)2021 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480892

ABSTRACT

Home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by dramatic changes in lifestyle and dietary behaviors that can significantly influence health. We conducted an online cross-sectional survey to assess COVID-19 pandemic-induced dietary and lifestyle changes and their association with perceived health status and self-reported body weight changes among 1000 Indian adults in early 2021. Positive improvements in dietary habits, e.g., eating more nutritious (85% of participants) and home-cooked food (89%) and an increase in overall nutrition intake (79%), were observed. Sixty-five percent of participants self-reported increased oat consumption to support immunity. There were some negative changes, e.g., more binge eating (69%), eating more in between meals (67%), and increasing meal portion size (72%). Two-thirds of participants reported no change in lifestyles, whereas 21 and 23% reported an increase, and 13 and 10% reported a decrease in physical activity and sleep, respectively. Overall, 64 and 65% of participants reported an improvement in perceived health and an increase in body weight during the COVID-19 period compared to pre-COVID-19, respectively. The top motivations for improving dietary habits included improving physical and mental health and building immunity. In conclusion, the overall perceived health was improved and there was an increase in self-reported body weight in most participants during COVID-19. Diet emerged as the most crucial determinant for these changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diet, Healthy , Exercise , Feeding Behavior , Quarantine , Sleep , Adolescent , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diet Surveys , Female , Food Preferences , Humans , Immune System/physiology , India , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Nutritional Status , Nutritive Value , Prospective Studies , Time Factors , Young Adult
13.
PLoS Med ; 18(9): e1003729, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470653

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous product placement trials in supermarkets are limited in scope and outcome data collected. This study assessed the effects on store-level sales, household-level purchasing, and dietary behaviours of a healthier supermarket layout. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This is a prospective matched controlled cluster trial with 2 intervention components: (i) new fresh fruit and vegetable sections near store entrances (replacing smaller displays at the back) and frozen vegetables repositioned to the entrance aisle, plus (ii) the removal of confectionery from checkouts and aisle ends opposite. In this pilot study, the intervention was implemented for 6 months in 3 discount supermarkets in England. Three control stores were matched on store sales and customer profiles and neighbourhood deprivation. Women customers aged 18 to 45 years, with loyalty cards, were assigned to the intervention (n = 62) or control group (n = 88) of their primary store. The trial registration number is NCT03518151. Interrupted time series analysis showed that increases in store-level sales of fruits and vegetables were greater in intervention stores than predicted at 3 (1.71 standard deviations (SDs) (95% CI 0.45, 2.96), P = 0.01) and 6 months follow-up (2.42 SDs (0.22, 4.62), P = 0.03), equivalent to approximately 6,170 and approximately 9,820 extra portions per store, per week, respectively. The proportion of purchasing fruits and vegetables per week rose among intervention participants at 3 and 6 months compared to control participants (0.2% versus -3.0%, P = 0.22; 1.7% versus -3.5%, P = 0.05, respectively). Store sales of confectionery were lower in intervention stores than predicted at 3 (-1.05 SDs (-1.98, -0.12), P = 0.03) and 6 months (-1.37 SDs (-2.95, 0.22), P = 0.09), equivalent to approximately 1,359 and approximately 1,575 fewer portions per store, per week, respectively; no differences were observed for confectionery purchasing. Changes in dietary variables were predominantly in the expected direction for health benefit. Intervention implementation was not within control of the research team, and stores could not be randomised. It is a pilot study, and, therefore, not powered to detect an effect. CONCLUSIONS: Healthier supermarket layouts can improve the nutrition profile of store sales and likely improve household purchasing and dietary quality. Placing fruits and vegetables near store entrances should be considered alongside policies to limit prominent placement of unhealthy foods. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03518151 (pre-results).


Subject(s)
Commerce , Consumer Behavior , Diet, Healthy , Food , Nutritive Value , Supermarkets , Adolescent , Adult , Candy , Choice Behavior , Commerce/economics , Consumer Behavior/economics , Diet, Healthy/economics , England , Female , Food/adverse effects , Food/economics , Food Preferences , Frozen Foods , Fruit , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , Time Factors , Vegetables , Young Adult
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463669

ABSTRACT

We analyze the dynamic changes in individuals' lifestyle during the COVID-19 outbreak and recovery period through a survey of 1061 Chinese households. Specifically, we are interested in individuals' bodyweight, time allocation and food choices. We find that COVID-19 is associated with weight gain, less time spent on exercise and more time on entertainment. The proportion of online food purchase and snack purchases also shows an upward trend. This study provides useful implications on the impact of COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns on individuals' lifestyle and offers foresights for countries in different stages of the pandemic. It explains how encouraging exercise, managing new food purchase venues, and reducing the intake of unhealthy food such as snacks may also need to be considered in dealing with the aftermath of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Feeding Behavior , Food Preferences , Humans , Life Style , SARS-CoV-2 , Snacks
15.
Nutrients ; 13(5)2021 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448904

ABSTRACT

An economic experiment was conducted in France in 2020 to evaluate consumer attitudes toward two ham products associated with different colorectal cancer risks. We focused specifically on comparing a conventional ham and a new hypothetical antioxidant-enriched ham with a reduced risk of provoking colorectal cancer. Study participants were given descriptions of the two hams before carrying out successive rounds of willingness-to-pay (WTP) assessments. The results show that WTP was higher for the antioxidant-enriched ham than for the conventional ham. WTP estimates were also impacted by providing additional information about the reduction in colorectal cancer risk associated with the antioxidant-enriched ham. Based on the participants' WTP, we came up with ex ante estimates for the social impacts of introducing the antioxidant-enriched ham onto the market, and we suggest that it would be socially optimal to promote the product. Competition arising from pre-existing product labelling and marketing assertions could greatly limit the market potential of antioxidant-enriched ham, which suggests that alternative approaches may be necessary, such as regulations mandating antioxidant enrichment. These results also concern all countries with high levels of meat consumption.


Subject(s)
Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Consumer Behavior/economics , Food Preferences/psychology , Food, Fortified/economics , Pork Meat/economics , Adult , Antioxidants , Choice Behavior , Commerce , Diet, Healthy/economics , Diet, Healthy/psychology , Female , Food, Fortified/analysis , France , Health Behavior , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pork Meat/analysis , Young Adult
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430876

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Adolescents and ethnic subgroups have been identified at high risks of overweight and its associated complications. Although some studies have investigated overweight, obesity, nutritional status, physical activity, and associated factors among Saudi students, no studies have examined these characteristics among non-Saudi students or compared non-Saudi to Saudi adolescent students. The objective of this study was to compare differences between Saudi and non-Saudi adolescent students regarding time spent watching television, using computers, engaging in physical activity, and their food preferences. The relationships between these lifestyle behaviors and body mass index by Saudi nativity and gender were tested. METHODS: Students aged 12 to 18 years (n = 214) from various schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, completed a self-administered questionnaire that included questions about demographic and anthropometric characteristics, daily after-school routine, physical activity, watching television, using computers, and food preferences. Non-parametric (Mann-Whitney U) tests assessed the statistical differences between Saudi and non-Saudi respondents, and males and females were separately tested. RESULTS: Saudi boys who reported physical activity two to five times per week, the most television time, the most computer time, and the highest frequency of eating fast food and drinking soft drinks had a significantly higher mean body mass index than the non-Saudi boys in their categories. However, there were no significant differences found between the Saudi and non-Saudi girls. CONCLUSIONS: High levels of sedentary and low levels of physical activities as well as high consumption of high-fat fast foods and high-sugar drinks threaten the health of Saudi adolescents. Cultural differences in lifestyle between Saudi and non-Saudi families should be considered when developing programs to improve knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding diet quality and physical activity. The objective of this study is more important in the current situation where increased time spent on computers and mobile phones due to online teaching in schools or working from home, decreased physical activity due to precautionary lockdowns, and unchecked eating patterns while spending more time in sedentary activities in homes has become our COVID-19 pandemic lifestyle in all the age groups. A similar study should be replicated on a large scale to study the effect of this lifestyle on our lives in all the age groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Preferences , Adolescent , Body Mass Index , Communicable Disease Control , Computers , Cross-Sectional Studies , Exercise , Feeding Behavior , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia , Sedentary Behavior , Television
17.
J Food Sci ; 86(10): 4668-4677, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416247

ABSTRACT

Consumer testing assays a panel's liking of a food or other sensory stimulus. However, liking can be influenced by mood, with people feeling more uncomfortable, or more unhappy reporting lower liking ratings than those in a higher affect. Though consumer testing typically takes place as a central location test (CLT, usually in a set of standardized sensory booths), the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global pivot to home use tests (HUTs), where panelists can taste and smell samples unmasked more safely while in their own homes. Unfortunately, as this situation differs in many ways to a central location test, this puts the validity of longitudinal comparisons of liking scores under question. Further, as people across the globe report feelings of worry, unease, and stress during the pandemic, this may present a second source of variation in affect with previous years. We tested a set of snack bar samples both at home and in a central location, in repeated measures with the same panel, to test the validity of comparisons across locations. We further compared CLT results to those when testing the same samples in a previous year. Finally, we performed a meta-analysis of existing data on this subject. While liking behavior in CLTs did not differ between years, panelists rated some samples higher when in their own homes, in line with results from the meta-analysis of previous reports. Interestingly, panelists in the study also assigned fewer penalties in the HUT, implying a less analytical mindset when in the home. Results suggest that care should be taken when comparing results taken at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to those taken previously in a central location. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Consumer testing is applied in the food industry to evaluate a panelist's liking for a food product or stimulus. However, liking is also dependent on factors extrinsic to the samples tested. Thus, with the switch to in-home testing due to COVID-19, we compared liking scores from in-home and central locations testing, with higher scores common in HUTs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consumer Behavior , Housing , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Preferences , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Smell , Taste , Young Adult
18.
Nutrients ; 13(9)2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405464

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic brought changes to almost every segment of our lives, including dietary habits. We present one among several studies, and the first on the Croatian population, aiming at investigating changes of food choice motives before and during the pandemic. The study was performed in June 2021 as an online-based survey, using a 36-item Food Choice Questionnaire applied for both the periods before and during the pandemic. The final sample consisted of 1232 adults living in Croatia. Sensory appeal was ranked as the number one most important food choice motive before, whereas health was ranked as the number one most important food choice motive during the pandemic. Ethical concern was reported as the least important food choice motive both before and during the pandemic. In women, natural content (p = 0.002), health, convenience, price, weight control, familiarity, and ethical concern (all p < 0.001) became more important during the pandemic, while price (p = 0.009), weight control, familiarity, and ethical concern (all p < 0.001) became more relevant for men. All together, these can be considered favorable changes toward optimal diets and may result in beneficial influences on health and lifestyle. Education strategies and efficiently tackling misinformation are prerequisites for informed food choice, which will ensure long-lasting positive effects of such changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Choice Behavior , Food Preferences/psychology , Motivation , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Croatia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
19.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 153, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388768

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Poor diet is the leading preventable risk factor contributing to the burden of disease globally and in Australia, and is inequitably distributed. As the price of healthy foods is a perceived barrier to improved diets, evidence on the cost and affordability of current (unhealthy) and recommended (healthy, more equitable and sustainable) diets is required to support policy action. METHODS: This study applied the Healthy Diets ASAP (Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing) methods protocol to measure the cost, cost differential and affordability of current and recommended diets for a reference household in Queensland, Australia. Food prices were collected in 18 randomly selected locations stratified by area of socioeconomic disadvantage and remoteness. Diet affordability was calculated for three income categories. RESULTS: Surprisingly, recommended diets would cost 20% less than the current diet in Queensland as a whole. Households spent around 60% of their food budget on discretionary choices (that is, those not required for health that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, salt and/or alcohol). Queensland families would need to spend around 23% of their income on recommended diets. However, recommended diets would not be affordable in low socioeconomic or very remote areas, costing 30 and 35% of median household income respectively. The government supplements due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic would improve affordability of recommended diets by 29%. CONCLUSIONS: Study findings highlight that while price is one factor affecting consumer food choice, other drivers such as taste, convenience, advertising and availability are important. Nevertheless, the study found that recommended diets would be unaffordable in very remote areas, and that low-income families are likely experiencing food stress, irrespective of where they live in Queensland. Policy actions, such as increasing to 20% the current 10% tax differential between basic healthy, and unhealthy foods in Australia, and supplementing incomes of vulnerable households, especially in remote areas, are recommended to help improve diet equity and sustainability, and health and wellbeing for all.


Subject(s)
Costs and Cost Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Diet, Healthy/economics , Diet/economics , Poverty Areas , Rural Population , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Female , Food Preferences , Health Equity , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Queensland
20.
Nutrients ; 13(9)2021 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374477

ABSTRACT

Food preferences are among the most influential factors of food habits in the vulnerable period of adolescence; in addition, gender-dependent differences in food preferences are also observed. The aim of the present study was to analyze differences in food habits between individuals stratified based on their food preferences in a population-based sample of adolescents aged 15-20. The study was conducted within the Polish Adolescents' COVID-19 Experience (PLACE-19) Study population in a group of 2419 secondary school students who were randomly chosen to participate in the study using a random quota sampling procedure. The food preferences were determined on the basis of a validated Food Preference Questionnaire (FPQ) (which enables assessing preference of vegetables, fruit, meat/fish, dairy, snacks, and starches), whereas food habits were determined on the basis of the Adolescents' Food Habits Checklist (AFHC) (which enables assessing food purchase, preparation, and consumption habits). The analysis involved three homogenous clusters ('low-preferring', 'hedonists', and 'high-preferring'), which were identified using the k-means algorithm. It was found that for a number of the assessed food purchase, preparation, and consumption habits, there were statistically significant differences between the 'low-preferring', 'hedonists', and 'high-preferring' clusters. Within food purchase habits, the food preference influenced frequency of buying pastries/cakes and frequency of eating takeaway meals for all the respondents, while for female respondents, it influenced also choice of desserts in restaurants, and for male respondents, it influenced choosing a low-fat lunch away from home (p < 0.05). Within food preparation habits, the food preference influenced the fat content in desserts at home, the frequency of eating at least one serving of vegetables/salad with an evening meal, the frequency of spreading butter/margarine on bread thinly, and the frequency of having cream on desserts for all the respondents; meanwhile, for female respondents, it also influenced the frequency of avoiding fried foods and the frequency of including chocolate/biscuits in their packed lunch (p < 0.05). Within food consumption habits, the food preference influenced the frequency of eating a dessert/pudding, eating at least one serving of fruit a day, eating at least one serving of vegetables/salad a day, avoiding sausages/burgers, trying to ensure they eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and frequency of choosing fruit as a snack for all the respondents; meanwhile, for male respondents, it also influenced the frequency of eating sweet snacks and eating at least three servings of fruit most days (p < 0.05). Taking into account that some improper food habits may be typical for the specific clusters, there is an urgent need to analyze and address them for the purposes of public health and to bear in mind that some of those habits are gender-dependent.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diet/statistics & numerical data , Feeding Behavior/physiology , Food Preferences/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Diet Surveys , Female , Humans , Male , Poland , Young Adult
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