Three surveys were conducted of 429 supermarket shoppers in Canberra, Australia, in order to examine factors that may influence their concerns about food and health. In each survey, a 28 item food and health concerns inventory was administered along with selected personality trait, personal values or shopping style scales. Principal components analysis of the ratings of the food and health concerns derived eight components. In order to test a number of hypotheses, a series of multiple regression analyses were carried out in which the psychological variables were entered along with demographic variables as predictors of the respondents' scores on the concerns components. Response rates for the surveys averaged 72%. The psychological variables accounted for more variance in the food and health concern scores than the demographic variables. Examples of the observed relationships showed that: (i) safety and quality concerns were positively related to social activism and nature values and to anomy, but were negatively related to age of the respondent and neuroticism; (ii) concerns about hidden additives in foods were directly linked to the quality-seeking shopping style; (iii) concerns about general food system problems were positively linked to the nature value orientation, and negatively to the self-monitoring and neuroticism personality traits; (iv) empathy for vulnerable people was positively linked to the social activism and nature values and negatively to the fashion-seeking shopping style; concern about animal welfare was directly related to the nature value. The findings show that individual difference variables have some utility in predicting responses to food and health issues. They have implications for food communicators, nutrition educators, food label designers as well as consumer and industry groups, all of whom need to recognize consumers' varied orientations.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|