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Sociodemographic determinants of perceived influences on food choice in a nationally representative sample of Irish adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2007

M Kearney*
Affiliation:
Institute of European Food Studies, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
JM Kearney
Affiliation:
Institute of European Food Studies, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
A Dunne
Affiliation:
Department of Statistics, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
MJ Gibney
Affiliation:
Institute of European Food Studies, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
*
*Corresponding author: Email iefs@indigo.ie
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Abstract

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Objective

To identify the most important motivations for food choice from the point of view of the consumer in the Irish population, and to characterize those subjects who do and do not regard nutrition as a significant consideration in food choice.

Design

As part of a pan-European Union (EU) survey on consumer attitudes to food, nutrition and health, a quota-controlled, nationally representative sample of Irish adults (n = 1009) aged 15 years upwards, completed an interview-assisted, close-ended questionnaire. Subjects selected three factors, from a list of 15, which they believed had the greatest influence on their food choice.

Setting

The interviews for the survey were conducted in subjects' homes.

Results

‘Quality/freshness of food’ was the most frequently selected food choice factor (51%) followed by ’taste‘ (43%) and ‘trying to eat a healthy diet’ (36%). Female gender, increasing age and higher levels of education were found to be independent sociodemographic factors affecting the selection of ‘trying to eat a healthy diet’ as an important factor in food choice.

Conclusions

Although included in the top five most frequently selected factors affecting food choice, nutrition/healthy eating does not appear to have top priority for the majority of Irish adults. There are differences between the various sociodemographic groups within the population; males and younger subjects appear to require specific nutrition promotion messages.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2000

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