Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Social determinants of food choice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2007

Richard Shepherd
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH, UK
Corresponding
E-mail address:
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Food choice is influenced by a large number of factors, including social and cultural factors. One method for trying to understand the impact of these factors is through the study of attitudes. Research is described which utilizes social psychological attitude models of attitude-behaviour relationships, in particular the Theory of Planned Behaviour. This approach has shown good prediction of behaviour, but there are a number of possible extensions to this basic model which might improve its utility. One such extension is the inclusion of measures of moral concern, which have been found to be important both for the choice of genetically-modified foods and also for foods to be eaten by others. It has been found to be difficult to effect dietary change, and there are a number of insights from social psychology which might address this difficulty. One is the phenomenon of optimistic bias, where individuals believe themselves to be at less risk from various hazards than the average person. This effect has been demonstrated for nutritional risks, and this might lead individuals to take less note of health education messages. Another concern is that individuals do not always have clear-cut attitudes, but rather can be ambivalent about food and about healthy eating. It is important, therefore, to have measures for this ambivalence, and an understanding of how it might impact on behaviour.

Type
Symposium on ‘Social and environmental influences on diet choice’
Copyright
The Nutrition Society

References

Ajzen, I (1988) Attitudes, Personality, and Behaviour.Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
Ajzen, I & Fishbein, M (1980) Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
Ajzen, I & Timko, C (1986) Correspondence between health attitudes and behavior. Basic and Applied Social Psychology 7, 259276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Axelson, ML, Brinberg, D & Durand, JH (1983) Eating at a fast-food restaurant – a social-psychological analysis. Journal of Nutrition Education 15, 9498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Axelson, ML, Federline, TL & Brinberg, D (1985) A meta-analysis of food- and nutrition-related research. Journal of Nutrition Education 17, 5154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, J & Cohen, P (1983) Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Department of Health and Social Security (1984) Diet and Cardiovascular Disease. Report on Health and Social Subjects no. 28. London: H.M. Stationery Office.Google Scholar
Department of Health (1994) Nutritional Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease. Report on Health and Social Subjects no. 46. London: H.M. Stationery Office.Google Scholar
de Castro, JM & de Castro, ES (1989) Spontaneous meal patterns of humans: influence of the presence of other people. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 50, 237247.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eagly, AH & Chaiken, S (1993) The Psychology of Attitudes. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich.Google Scholar
Fishbein, M & Stasson, M (1990) The role of desires, self-predictions, and perceived control in the prediction of training session attendance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 20, 173198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frewer, LJ, Shepherd, R & Sparks, P (1994) The interrelationship between perceived knowledge, control and risk associated with a range of food related hazards targeted at the self, other people and society. Journal of Food Safety 14, 1940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Khan, MA (1981) Evaluation of food selection patterns and preferences. CRC Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 15, 129153.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McKenna, FP (1993) It won't happen to me: unrealistic optimism or illusion of control? British Journal of Psychology 84, 3950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murcott, A (1989) Sociological and social anthropological approaches to food and eating. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 55, 140.Google Scholar
Murcott, A (editor) (1998) The Nation's Diet: The Social Science of Food Choice. Harlow, Essex: Adison Wesley.Google Scholar
Paisley, CM & Sparks, P (1998) Expectations of reducing fat intake: the role of perceived need within the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Psychology and Health 13, 341353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pilgrim, FJ (1957) The components of food acceptance and their measurement. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 5, 171175.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Raats, MM, Shepherd, R & Sparks, P (1995) Including moral dimensions of choice within the structure of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 25, 484494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Randall, E & Sanjur, D (1981) Food preferences – their conceptualization and relationship to consumption. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 11, 151161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schifter, DE & Ajzen, I (1985) Intention, perceived control, and weight loss: an application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 49, 843851.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shepherd, R (1985) Dietary salt intake. Nutrition and Food Science 96, Sept/Oct, 1011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shepherd, R (1988) Belief structure in relation to low-fat milk consumption. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 1, 421428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shepherd, R (editor) (1989) Factors influencing food preferences and choice. In Handbook of the Psychophysiology of Human Eating, pp. 324.Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
Shepherd, R & Farleigh, CA (1986) Preferences, attitudes and personality as determinants of salt intake. Human Nutrition: Applied Nutrition 40A, 195208.Google ScholarPubMed
Shepherd, R & Raats, MM (1995) Attitudes and beliefs in food habits. In Food Choice, Acceptance and Consumption, pp. 346364 [Meiselman, HL and MacFie, HJH, editors]. London: Blackie Academic and Professional.Google Scholar
Shepherd, R & Stockley, L (1985) Fat consumption and attitudes towards food with a high fat content. Human Nutrition: Applied Nutrition 39A, 431442.Google ScholarPubMed
Shepherd, R & Stockley, L (1987) Nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and fat consumption. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 87, 615619.Google ScholarPubMed
Sheppard, BH, Hartwick, J & Warshaw, PR (1988) The theory of reasoned action: a meta-analysis of past research with recommendations for modifications and future research. Journal of Consumer Research 15, 325343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sparks, P, Hedderley, D & Shepherd, R (1992) An investigation into the relationship between perceived control, attitude variability and the consumption of two common foods. European Journal of Social Psychology 22, 5571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sparks, P, James, R, Conner, M, Shepherd, R & Povey, R (1999) Ambivalence about health-related behaviours: an exploration in the domain of food choice. British Journal of Health Psychology(In the Press).Google Scholar
Sparks, P, Shepherd, R & Frewer, LJ (1995) Assessing and structuring attitudes toward the use of gene technology in food production: the role of perceived ethical obligation. Basic and Applied Social Psychology 16, 267285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sparks, P, Shepherd, R, Wieringa, N & Zimmermanns, N (1995) Perceived behavioural control, unrealistic optimism and dietary change: an exploratory study. Appetite 24, 243255.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tesser, A & Shaffer, DR (1990) Attitudes and attitude change. Annual Review of Psychology 41, 479523.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thompson, M, Zanna, M & Griffin, D (1995) Let's not be indifferent about (attitudinal) ambivalence. In Attitude Strength: Antecedents and Consequences, pp. 361386 [Petty, RE and Krosnick, JA, editors]. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Tuorila, H (1987) Selection of milks with varying fat contents and related overall liking, attitudes, norms and intentions. Appetite 8, 114.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tuorila, H & Pangborn, RM (1988) Prediction of reported consumption of selected fat-containing foods. Appetite 11, 8195.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Weinstein, ND (1984) Why it won't happen to me: perceptions of risk factors and susceptibility. Health Psychology 3, 431457.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Weinstein, ND (1987) Unrealistic optimism about susceptibility to health problems: conclusions from a community-wide sample. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 10, 481500.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Weinstein, ND (1989) Optimistic biases about personal risks. Science 246, 12321233.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wicker, AW (1969) Attitude versus actions: the relationship of verbal and overt behavioral responses to attitude objects. Journal of Social Issues 25, 4178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 15
Total number of PDF views: 6766 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th January 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Access
Hostname: page-component-76cb886bbf-2rmft Total loading time: 0.317 Render date: 2021-01-20T00:48:34.081Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "1", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Social determinants of food choice
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Social determinants of food choice
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Social determinants of food choice
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *