The theory of planned behaviour and healthy diet: Examining the mediating effect of traditional food

Giovanni Sogari*, Tommaso Pucci, Vincenzina Caputo, Ellen J. Van Loo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional foods are often perceived to be high in fat and energy-dense and therefore individuals that aim to adopt a healthy diet could be discouraged to consume them. To date, consumer research investigating the interlink of healthy and traditional eating attitudes is lacking. We conducted a cross-country study with a total sample of 5928 consumers from 10 countries worldwide and used the Theory of Planned Behavior as a theoretical framework, to examine the mediating effect of attitude towards traditional eating on the behavioral intention to adopt a healthy diet (target behavior). Our results showed a general positive attitude towards adopting a healthy diet. The model showed that Attitude, Subjective Norms, and Control Beliefs related to the Behavioral Intention of adopting a healthy diet are all significantly correlated with the Attitude towards traditional eating (ATT-TE). Moreover, results indicated that the ATT-TE positively and significantly influence the behavioral intention of adopting a healthy diet. However, if we look at the country level, the effects of the ATT-TE are very heterogeneous. This could be due to the different perception between the interlink of traditional food and healthiness among people, which is often culturally dependent. Several practical and policy implications could include i) policies to increase familiarity with and appreciation towards traditional healthy food, ii) opportunities for campaigns to strengthen the regional marketing of traditional and healthy products, and iii) variations in positioning and messaging emphasis, based on consumer perceptions on the healthiness of traditional food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104709
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Attitude
  • Geographical Indication
  • Intention
  • Local Foods
  • SEM
  • TPB


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