intellectual vanities… about close to everything

what makes us buy the food we do?

with 13 comments

Not so simple, as it appears in recently published study results.

People purchase foods based on:

§ their income level,
§ their belief in a food’s health benefit and cost,
§ ethnicity and gender

Food choice is also influenced by environmental factors, such as

§ reliance on fast food,
§ food advertising and
§ food pricing,

and on individual factors, such as

§ taste,
§ palatability,
§ convenience and
§ health benefits.


The study, published in the March 7, 2007, advance online publication of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reports about 4,356 U.S. adults aged 20-65 years from two nationally-representative cross-sectional surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and the Diet and Health Knowledge Survey. The Johns Hopkins Center for Human Nutrition researchers examined diet quality indicators, such as the amount of energy, energy density, total fat and saturated fat in foods consumed by study participants. They also considered the quantity of fruits and vegetables, fiber, calcium and dairy products consumed and the overall quality of people’s diet, which was assessed using two indices, including one recommended by the USDA. The key findings are as follows:

There are considerable ethnic and gender differences in the association between socio-economic status, perceived barrier of food price, perceived benefit of diet quality and dietary intake.
Income constraints on individuals and families can lead to a poorer quality diet. When buying food, African-Americans with lower incomes saw food price as more important than Whites with the same income level did.
Caucasians of lower socio-economic status ate more fat and saturated fat. African-Americans showed no association between income level and fat intake.
Among all study participants, and independent of income, the perceived barrier of food price appears to increase sodium intake while reducing fiber intake.
Perceived benefit of diet quality was directly related to better nutritional behavior, including consuming foods less in saturated fat and eating more fiber, fruits and vegetables. Compared to men, women were more concerned about meeting food guidelines in order to improve their health.
Women had lower energy, energy density, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium intake than men. Yet, men had higher intake of fruits and vegetables, fiber, calcium and dairy products, particularly because they consumed mor

Mind, these results are not describing eating habits but provide a correlational analysis of customer behaviour patterns. But despite differences between shopping and eating habits, the decision about them is, as known since “5 a day” and other nutritional research, not as autonomously based on convenience, taste or beliefes about health benefits, as most of us would be inclined to believe. Nonetheless, May A. Beydoun is sure intitled to infer: “People’s diets are affected by many factors. We examined some of those factors. Therefore, a large proportion of the association between income level and dietary intake could not be explained by the perceived barrier of food price or the perceived benefit of diet quality.”

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar 7; [Epub ahead of print] Links
How do socio-economic status, perceived economic barriers and nutritional benefits affect quality of dietary intake among US adults?Beydoun MA, Wang Y.
1Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.>

Background:Socio-economic factors may affect diet quality, perhaps differentially across gender and ethnicity. The mechanism of this association is still largely unknown.Objectives:We examined the independent effects of socio-economic status (SES), perceived barrier of food price (PBFP) and perceived benefit of diet quality (PBDQ) on diet quality indicators and indices (DQI(j,k)), across gender and ethnicity. Additionally, we estimated the mediation proportion of the effect of SES on DQI(j,k) through PBFP and PBDQ.Methods:Data from two cross-sectional surveys, the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) and Diet and Health Knowledge Survey (DHKS) 1994-96 were used. Our sample consisted of 4356 US adults aged 20-65 years. With principal components analysis, SES (an index) was measured using household income per capita and education, and PBDQ was measured using an 11-item scale. PBFP was defined as the ratio of importance of food price score relative to nutrition. DQI(j,k) were assessed by a set of indicators and two indices including the Healthy Eating Index.Results:The associations between SES, PBFP, PBDQ and DQI(j,k) varied significantly across gender and ethnic groups. PBFP acted as a mediator in the association between SES and selected DQI(j) indicators, namely energy, fat intake, sodium and simple sugar consumption (mediation proportion >10%), but not PBDQ.Conclusions:SES, PBFP and PBDQ all affect dietary intake, and vary by ethnicity and gender. Positive effect of SES on DQI(j,k) may be mediated by PBFP but not PBDQ which is an independent protective factor. Nutrition education is important to promote healthy eating.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 7 March 2007; doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602700.>

PMID: 17342164 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


Written by huehueteotl

March 27, 2007 at 12:43 pm

13 Responses

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  1. healthy eating should be our top priority since there are many junk foods and foods with no nutritional value these days -::

    Hamster Cages

    November 17, 2010 at 5:25 am

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    Rolando Campese

    June 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm

  3. i told you, i agree with this article

    Rolland Defiglio

    August 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm

  4. i told you, i agree with this article

    Norman Leichner

    August 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

  5. Identified you blog through digg I must say I m astounded with your articles!


    September 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm

  6. […] a big chunk of the budget.  In 2007, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a survey designed to determine what exactly makes us open our wallets at the market.  Four years later, do […]


    Nhubertsan Cacananta

    September 3, 2012 at 5:17 am

  8. Place a silpat liner on a baking sheet (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).

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    It is not like ordinary dough, it is not supposed to
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    March 31, 2013 at 8:00 am

  9. 。何も真新しいトリビュートラインのようなフ

    gucci バッグ

    April 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm

  10. 私友人ダーマロジカでになるを提供しても女の子-の一種スキンケアサプリメント、私アミーゴスマイケルでN.

  11. 歩く、の裏庭の庭サングラスカウンター異なりますフォームのサングラスもとしてあなた魅力的な販売員を作成失われました。。それは最高ですでサインアップとき彼女のメールディレクトリで、下彼女のホームページ新鮮なニュースにマークをプログラム。


    June 20, 2013 at 4:14 am

  12. Its like you resd my mind! You appear to know a lot bout this, like
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    September 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

  13. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the ideo to make your point.
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    September 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

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