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UK consumer attitudes, beliefs and barriers to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption

  • David N Cox (a1), Annie S Anderson (a2), Michael EJ Lean (a3) and David J Mela (a1)
Abstract
Objective:

To assess attitudes, predictors of intention, and identify perceived barriers to increasing fruit and vegetable (F&V) intakes.

Design:

UK nationwide postal survey utilizing the theory of planned behaviour.

Subjects:

Stratified (by social class and region) random sample of 2020 UK adults providing a modest response rate of 37% (n = 741).

Results:

Belief measures (e.g. health, cost, taste, etc.) were strongly associated with overall attitudes which were reported as being largely favourable towards fruit, vegetables and, to a lesser extent, vegetable dishes, and were strongly associated with reported intention to increase consumption. Subjects reported they could increase their consumption, but this was only weakly associated with intention to do so. Approximately 50% of respondents reported an intention to increase intakes. Social pressure was strongly associated with reported intention to increase; however, scores indicated low perceived social pressure to change. Evidence of unrealistic optimism concerning perceived intakes and the perceived high cost of fruit may also act as barriers.

Conclusions:

Results from this study suggest a lack of perceived social pressure to increase F&V intakes and suggests that public health efforts require stronger and broader health messages that incorporate consumer awareness of low present consumption.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: E-mail: david.cox@bbsrc.ac.uk
References
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