Department of Management

The role of food-related shopping and preparation practices in diet quality and association with depressive symptoms

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Purpose: Depression has become a major public health concern. Previous research indicates that depression is associated with diet quality and irregularity of meals. Yet, very few studies have addressed the role of food provisioning related behaviours, such as buying, storing and preparing food, and meal patterns in diet quality and depressive feelings. This study takes a wide perspective on food provisioning practices and examines their role in diet quality. The hypothesis is that less impulsive, more skilled and structured food provisioning practices are associated with better diet quality, and thereby lower depressive feelings. The study also explores whether the effect on depressive symptoms goes beyond the effects of diet quality.

Method: An online survey with a random sample of Danish (N=1522) and Spanish (N=1512) participants was recruited in 2014 through Qualtrics panel. Depressive symptoms were measured using the CES-D 20 scale. Quality of diet was based on intake frequencies of seven food categories. Impulse buying tendency, food-related practices on eating food on-the-go, storing foods at home, cooking skills, food choice motives and meal patterns were measured using multi-item instruments. Data was analysed by using cluster analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling.
Results: The results confirmed that impulse buying and eating food on-the-go had a negative association with overall quality of diet, as well as a positive association with depressive symptoms. Furthermore, storing unhealthy food at home was negatively linked with quality of diet, whereas cooking skills and using raw ingredients for cooking had a positive association with diet quality, as well as a negative association with depressive symptoms. Three major meal patterns could be categorised in both Denmark and Spain: those with three regular meals and low level of snacking had highest diet quality and lowest depressive symptoms, whereas those with irregular meals and moderate snacking had lowest diet quality and highest depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: This study indicates that quality of diet, and thereby mental well-being, can be influenced by targeting the practices in the whole food provisioning chain from purchases outside home to food provisioning practices at home.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract book for the ISBNPA 2016 Annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa
Number of pages1
PublisherInternational Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication year2016
ISBN (print)978-0-692-77667-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventISBNPA 2016: International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 8 Jun 201611 Jun 2016
Conference number: 15


ConferenceISBNPA 2016
LandSouth Africa
ByCape Town

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