Understanding nutrition communication between health professionals and consumers: development of a model for nutrition awareness based on qualitative consumer research

S.M.E. van Dillen, G.J. Hiddink, M.A. Koelen, C. de Graaf, C.M.J. van Woerkum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Consumers have been exposed to nutrition information from a variety of sources, including the family doctor. They are often not aware of their own risk behavior regarding nutrition. Objective: This study sought to assess food associations, conversation topics, interest in food topics, and use of information sources by means of qualitative consumer research. Another aim was to provide a hypothetical model for nutrition awareness that could be tested in a quantitative survey. Design: Three focus groups with 30 Dutch consumers altogether were carried out. Qualitative data were analyzed with the computer software program NUD*IST (QSR, Melbourne) by sorting text blocks into categories, and new themes emerged. In addition, a hypothetical model for nutrition awareness was developed. Results: Consumers associated food most often with safe food, and food safety was the topic most often discussed. Tasty food was the most important food conversation topic. The family doctor was the information source most talked about. Furthermore, consumers possibly lacked some nutrition awareness. Conclusions: Careful analysis revealed new themes (new in the past 10 y), such as concerns about food safety and reconsideration of the roles of family doctors and dietitians. Based on these themes, recommendations for nutrition communication were composed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065S-1072S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume77
Issue number4(S)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • focus groups
  • vegetable consumption
  • food
  • information
  • knowledge
  • attitudes
  • fruit
  • diet

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