To assess participants’ acquaintance with and willingness to try healthful food alternatives, and to test the psychometric properties of an adapted Dutch version of the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) in order to study the role of food neophobia in this context.
A cross-sectional study incorporating two web-based questionnaires, including a retest of the FNS one week later. Measures included acquaintance with and willingness to try 15 healthful food alternatives, level of food neophobia, level of education, gender and age. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to study associations between demographics and level of food neophobia as well as associations between level of food neophobia and acquaintance with and willingness to try the healthful alternatives.
The study was conducted in The Netherlands using a representative Internet panel.
A total of 326 participants aged 18–50 years participated.
Internal consistency and test–retest reliability of the FNS version used were sufficient. On average participants were acquainted with 7.9 of the products and modestly willing to try the products. Lowly educated participants had significantly higher FNS scores than highly educated participants (β = −0.23, P < 0.01). FNS score was significantly associated with acquaintance with (β = −0.21, P < 0.001) and willingness to try the healthful alternatives (β = −0.26, P < 0.001).
Further research into the role of food neophobia is warranted when wanting to stimulate the integration of healthful alternative products in the daily diet, especially among persons with low education.