Department of Management

Liisa Lähteenmäki

Socio-demographic and attitudinal determinants of nutrition knowledge of food shoppers in six European countries

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Nutrition knowledge is a prerequisite for processing nutrition-related information when making food choices. Insight into determinants of nutrition knowledge is important both for designing measures aimed at increasing levels of nutrition knowledge and for food industry attempting to position food products based on their nutritional properties. Shoppers recruited in the UK, Sweden, France, Germany,
Poland and Hungary (total n = 5967) filled out a questionnaire measuring their nutrition knowledge with regard to dietary recommendations, sources of nutrients, and calorie content of food and drink products. Differences in the level of knowledge found were related to country, socio-demographic characteristics,
attitude to healthy eating, and use of different sources of nutrition knowledge. Results showed that nutrition knowledge is multi-dimensional, with especially knowledge on calorie content being unrelated to the rest. Attitude to healthy eating and use of different information sources were weakly but significantly related to level of nutrition knowledge. Direct effects of socio-demographic characteristics were stronger, and inter-country differences were pronounced, with highest scores for the UK, suggesting that the history of health policies and nutrition-related initiatives taken by retailers and manufacturers, together with cultural differences, are a major factor affecting how people acquire knowledge about food and health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Research areas

  • MAPP, Nutrition knowledge, Socio-demographics, Attitudes, Cross-national differences

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