Influence of Environmental and Political Determinants on Food Choices in a Sample of Portuguese Population

Author(s): Ana C. Ferrão*, Raquel P.F. Guiné, Paula Correia, Manuela Ferreira

Journal Name: Current Nutrition & Food Science

Volume 16 , Issue 5 , 2020


Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor

Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Background: There is an increasing concern regarding the impacts of food choices in the environment. Therefore, in order to plan actions to promote more sustainable diets, it is crucial to understand the influence of environmental and political determinants on people’s food choices.

Objective: This work aimed at studying the extent to which environmental and political determinants influence people’s food choices in a sample of the Portuguese population.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was undertaken on a non-probabilistic sample of 1314 participants living in the Centre of Portugal. The questionnaires were applied after informed consent only to adults (aged 18 or over) and the data were collected from January and December 2017 among the Portuguese population.

Results: The participants’ food choices were, in general, influenced by environmental and political determinants (0.77 ± 0.53, in a scale from -2 to +2). It was also observed that the elderly, men and the participants who had a university degree were more influenced by these determinants. These findings were similar for those who lived in urban areas, the retired, the participants who had a professional activity or studies in agriculture areas and those who were responsible for buying their own food. Furthermore, there were found significant differences between age groups, genders and the levels of education. There were also observed significant differences between the different living environments, professional status, regarding the areas of work or studies and also between the participants who were responsible for buying their one food and the ones who were not. These findings are very important because they highlight the complicity of people’s food choices and are determinant for the development of strategies that can improve people’s eating habits.

Conclusion: This paper fulfills an identified need to study the environmental and political determinants underlying the Portuguese food choices.

Keywords: Diet, eating, environmental and political determinants, food choices, survey, sustainable diets.

[1]
Monteleone E, Spinelli S, Dinnella C, et al. Exploring influences on food choice in a large population sample: The Italian Taste project. Food Qual Prefer 2017; 59: 123-40.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.02.013]
[2]
Sleddens EFC, Kroeze W, Kohl LFM, et al. Determinants of dietary behavior among youth: an umbrella review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2015; 12: 7.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0164-x] [PMID: 25638322]
[3]
Crockett D, Wallendorf M. The role of normative political ideology in consumer behavior. J Consum Res 2004; 31: 511-28.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/425086]
[4]
Macdiarmid JI. Is a healthy diet an environmentally sustainable diet? Proc Nutr Soc 2013; 72(1): 13-20.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0029665112002893] [PMID: 23186839]
[5]
WHO. Ecosystems and Human Well-being : Health Synthesis A Report of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. Geneva: World Health Organization 2005.
[6]
Birch D, Memery J, De Silva Kanakaratne M. The mindful consumer: Balancing egoistic and altruistic motivations to purchase local food. J Retailing Consum Serv 2018; 40: 221-8.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2017.10.013]
[7]
Kjærnes U. Ethics and Action: A relational perspective on consumer choice in the European politics of food. J Agric Environ Ethics 2012; 25: 145-62.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10806-011-9315-5]
[8]
Watkins L, Aitken R, Mather D. Conscientious consumers: a relationship between moral foundations, political orientation and sustainable consumption. J Clean Prod 2016; 134: 137-46.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.06.009]
[9]
MathA(c) T. How do consumers define sustainable foods. CRA%DOC Cah Rech 2009.
[10]
FAO. Sustainable diets and biodiversity-directions and solutions for policy, research and action. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2012.
[11]
Garnett T. Food sustainability: problems, perspectives and solutions. Proc Nutr Soc 2013; 72(1): 29-39.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0029665112002947] [PMID: 23336559]
[12]
Hoek AC, Pearson D, James SW, Lawrence MA, Friel S. Shrinking the food-print: A qualitative study into consumer perceptions, experiences and attitudes towards healthy and environmentally friendly food behaviours. Appetite 2017; 108: 117-31.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.030] [PMID: 27686818]
[13]
Tilman D, Clark M. Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 2014; 515(7528): 518-22.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13959] [PMID: 25383533]
[14]
Waterlander WE, Ni Mhurchu C, Eyles H, et al. Food Futures: Developing effective food systems interventions to improve public health nutrition. Agric Syst 2018; 160: 124-31.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2017.01.006]
[15]
FAO. Global food losses and food waste - extent, causes and prevention. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization 2011.
[16]
European Food Information Council. Let’s reduce food waste. Food Saf 2017.
[17]
Aikman SN, Crites SL, Fabrigar LR. Beyond Affect and Cognition: Identification of the Informational Bases of Food Attitudes1. J Appl Soc Psychol 2006; 36: 340-82.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00011.x]
[18]
Jackson B, Lynne Cooper M, Mintz L, Albino A. Motivations to eat: scale development and validation. J Res Pers 2003; 37: 297-318.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0092-6566(02)00574-3]
[19]
Lindeman M, VAAnAnen M. Measurement of ethical food choice motives. Appetite 2000; 34(1): 55-9.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/appe.1999.0293] [PMID: 10744892]
[20]
Renner B, Sproesser G, Strohbach S, Schupp HT. The Eating Motivation Survey (TEMS). Why we eat what we eat. Appetite 2012; 59(1): 117-28.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2012.04.004] [PMID: 22521515]
[21]
Roininen K, LAhteenmAki L, Tuorila H. Quantification of consumer attitudes to health and hedonic characteristics of foods. Appetite 1999; 33(1): 71-88.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/appe.1999.0232] [PMID: 10447981]
[22]
Steptoe A, Pollard TM, Wardle J. Development of a measure of the motives underlying the selection of food: the food choice questionnaire. Appetite 1995; 25(3): 267-84.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/appe.1995.0061] [PMID: 8746966]
[23]
van Strien T, Frijters JER, Bergers GPA, Defares PB. The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavior. Int J Eat Disord 1986; 5: 295-315.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1098-108X(198602)5:2295::AID-EAT22600502093.0.CO;2-T]
[24]
van Strien T, Frijters JER, Bergers GPA, Defares PB. The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavior. Int J Eat Disord 1986; 5: 295-315.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1098-108X(198602)5:2295::AID-EAT22600502093.0.CO;2-T]
[25]
Santos SCRVL, Guiné RPF, Barros A. Effect of drying temperatures on the phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of pears of Rocha variety. J Food Meas Charact 2014; 8: 105-12.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-014-9170-y]
[26]
Rodrigues T, Lima MJ. GuinA(c) R, Lemos E. Evaluation of Eating Habits among Portuguese University Students: a preliminary study. World Acad Sci Eng Technol 2013; 79: 481-5.
[27]
Guin A(c) RPF, Henriques F, Barroca MJ. Influence of drying treatments on the physical and chemical properties of cucumber. J Food Meas Charact 2014; 8: 195-206.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11694-014-9180-9]
[28]
van Strien T, Frijters JER, Bergers GPA, Defares PB. The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavior. Int J Eat Disord 1986; 5: 295-315.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1098-108X(198602)5:2295::AID-EAT22600502093.0.CO;2-T]
[29]
Sautron V, PA(c)neau S, Camilleri GM, et al. Validity of a questionnaire measuring motives for choosing foods including sustainable concerns. Appetite 2015; 87: 90-7.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.205] [PMID: 25529817]
[30]
Arganini C, Saba A, Comitato R, Virgili F, Turrini A. Gender Differences in Food Choice and Dietary Intake in Modern Western Societies. In: Maddock J, Ed. Public Health - Soc Behav Health. Croatia: InTech 2012; p. 570.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/37886]
[31]
Beardsworth A, Bryman A, Keil T, Goode J, Haslam C, Lancashire E. Women, men and food: the significance of gender for nutritional attitudes and choices. Br Food J 2002; 104: 470-91.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070700210418767]
[32]
Teratanavat R, Hooker NH. Consumer valuations and preference heterogeneity for a novel functional food. J Food Sci 2006; 71: S533-41.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00120.x]
[33]
Verbeke W, Vackier I. Profile and effects of consumer involvement in fresh meat. Meat Sci 2004; 67(1): 159-68.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2003.09.017] [PMID: 22061129]
[34]
Meyer A. Does education increase pro-environmental behavior? Evidence from Europe. Ecol Econ 2015; 116: 108-21.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.04.018]
[35]
Panzone L, Hilton D, Sale L, Cohen D. Socio-demographics, implicit attitudes, explicit attitudes, and sustainable consumption in supermarket shopping. J Econ Psychol 2016; 55: 77-95.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2016.02.004]
[36]
Whitmarsh L, Seyfang G, O’Neill S. Public engagement with carbon and climate change: To what extent is the public ‘carbon capable’? Glob Environ Change 2011; 21: 56-65.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.07.011]
[37]
Olofsson A, A-hman S. General beliefs and environmental concern: transatlantic comparisons. Environ Behav 2006; 38: 768-90.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0013916506287388]
[38]
Sánchez M, López-Mosquera N, Lera-López F. Improving Proenvironmental behaviours in Spain. The role of attitudes and sociodemographic and political factors. J Environ Policy Plan 2016; 18: 47-66.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2015.1046983]
[39]
Torgler B, García-Valiñas MA. The determinants of individuals’ attitudes towards preventing environmental damage. Ecol Econ 2007; 63: 536-52.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.12.013]
[40]
Witzke HP, Urfei G. Willingness to pay for environmental protection in Germany: coping with the regional dimension. Reg Stud 2001; 35: 207-14.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713693807]
[41]
Deng J, Walker GJ, Swinnerton G. A Comparison of environmental values and attitudes between Chinese in Canada and Anglo-Canadians. Environ Behav 2006; 38: 22-47.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0013916505278458]
[42]
Diamantopoulos A, Schlegelmilch BB, Sinkovics RR, Bohlen GM. Can socio-demographics still play a role in profiling green consumers? A review of the evidence and an empirical investigation. J Bus Res 2003; 56: 465-80.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0148-2963(01)00241-7]
[43]
Doran CJ. The role of personal values in fair trade consumption. J Bus Ethics 2009; 84: 549-63.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9724-1]
[44]
Verain MCD, Bartels J, Dagevos H, Sijtsema SJ, Onwezen MC, Antonides G. Segments of sustainable food consumers: a literature review. Int J Consum Stud 2012; 36: 123-32.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2011.01082.x]
[45]
Shapiro K. “I am a Vegetarian”: Reflections on a Way of Being. Soc Anim 2015; 23: 128-47.
[46]
Dietz T, Frisch AS, Kalof L, Stern PC, Guagnano GA. Values and Vegetarianism: An Exploratory Analysis1. Rural Sociol 1995; 60: 533-42.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1549-0831.1995.tb00589.x]
[47]
Harper GC, Makatouni A. Consumer perception of organic food production and farm animal welfare. Br Food J 2002; 104: 287-99.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070700210425723]
[48]
Kalof L, Dietz T, Stern PC, Guagnano GA. Social psychological and structural influences on vegetarian beliefs. Rural Sociol 1999; 64: 500-11.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1549-0831.1999.tb00364.x]
[49]
Filippi M, Riccitelli G, Falini A, et al. The brain functional networks associated to human and animal suffering differ among omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. PLoS One 2010; 5(5): 1. e10847
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010847] [PMID: 20520767]
[50]
Graham J, Haidt J, Nosek BA. Liberals and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations. J Pers Soc Psychol 2009; 96(5): 1029-46.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015141] [PMID: 19379034]
[51]
De Backer CJS, Hudders L. Meat morals: relationship between meat consumption consumer attitudes towards human and animal welfare and moral behavior. Meat Sci 2015; 99: 68-74.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2014.08.011] [PMID: 25282670]


Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

VOLUME: 16
ISSUE: 5
Year: 2020
Published on: 14 July, 2020
Page: [689 - 697]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1573401315666190723150841
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 12
HTML: 1