Life-course influences on fruit and vegetable consumption in the Netherlands

H.A.J. Bras, S. Wahlen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


A life course perspective emphasises changing contexts of consumption. Such a perspective considers the influence of (1) the temporal location (birth cohort, period), (2) the geographical context (i.e. regional or local food cultures), (3) the social location (i.e. their embedding in social networks, households and social groups), as well as (4) previous food experiences. In the Netherlands, a very low percentage of the population (3-26%) meets the lower limit of recommended fruit consumption; while the share of people eating enough vegetables is even lower (1-14%). At the same time, high fruit and vegetable consumption are associated with lower risks of heart disease and cancer. In this paper, we examine the relative importance of individuals’ embedding in (1) time, (2) place, and (3) social groups and the influence of (4) early and current life experiences for their consumption of fruits and vegetables. We use data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-2010 (DNFCS) consisting of a sample of 3.800 Dutch respondents aged 7-69. Multivariate regression models are employed to chart the effects of individuals’ birth cohort, region, urbanisation of place of residence, social group (high, medium and low educated), household composition, and working status on fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC). We also examine whether and how life course influences on FVC differ among subgroups by testing interaction terms. Our study advances on earlier research by integrating a life course perspective in studies of consumption, which may help in better understanding the social and biological pathways of (food) consumption within disparate and changing food contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventESA Consumption Research Network Midterm Conference 2014 - O'Porto, Portugal
Duration: 3 Sep 20146 Sep 2014


ConferenceESA Consumption Research Network Midterm Conference 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Life-course influences on fruit and vegetable consumption in the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this