Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumer perceptions and preferences

18 June 2015

In this post on the Public Health England blog, Alison Tedstone discusses sustainable healthy diets and what such a diet can look like in the UK.  It particularly discusses the consumption and production of meat and dairy.

18 June 2015

This joint survey by the Food Standards Agency, Foodsafe and the Consumer Council in Northern Ireland finds that low ­income families need to spend at least one third of their weekly income on food if they want to eat healthily.  This percentage was the result when consumers were asked to select a realistic, healthy food basket that met the family’s taste requirements and included some special food items for visitors and social occasions.

18 June 2015

Germany has traditionally been a country with high meat consumption per capita, but a new study shows that young Germans are increasingly turning to vegetarian diets. The study market analyst company Mintel followed 1,000 people aged over 16 and their results show that nearly one in five (18%) Germans aged between 16 and 24 purchase meat-alternative products. This is comparable to the one in ten (11%) doing the same across all age groups.  A major challenge for this trend to consolidate however, is that only 14% of Germans say that they enjoy the taste of these products.

18 June 2015

This paper explores how food retailers assist consumers to make more climate smart food choices. 17 Swedish food retail representatives were interviewed and retailer websites studied and it was found that food retailers focus on their direct environmental impact as well as on organic food to drive more sustainable consumption.

22 May 2015

This literature review, undertaken by the Food Climate Research Network and Chatham House, and in association with EAT who also kindly supported the work, considers what the evidence has to say about effective ways of shifting people’s consumption patterns in more sustainable and healthy directions.

20 May 2015

This article from Nature Climate Change discusses a research project that investigates the impacts of both traditional and transitioning Indian diets on the climate. Funded by Wellcome Trust, the goal is to obtain a detailed picture of what people are eating throughout India and calculate both the climate and health impacts of different types of diets. 

26 February 2015

This paper, entitled Dietary quality among men and women in 187 countries in 1990 and 2010: a systematic assessment argues that although worldwide, consumption of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables has improved during the past two decades, it has been outpaced in most regions by the increased intake of unhealthy foods such as processed meat and sweetened drinks.

26 February 2015

This new series of papers from the Lancet summarises the latest available knowledge on obesity and what can be done to address the problem. The series introduction describes how today’s food environments exploits people’s biological, psychological, social, and economic vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to eat unhealthy foods. This in turn reinforces preferences and demands for foods of poor nutritional quality, furthering the unhealthy food environments. The authors call for regulatory actions from governments and increased efforts from industry and civil society to break these vicious cycles.

18 February 2015

This article highlights one of the approaches the dairy industry is taking to create new markets for dairy consumption.

12 February 2015

This paper investigates the environmental impact of the diets of Australian households at different income quintiles. The paper looked at 2003 household consumption and argues that income affects the environmental impacts of household diet, with higher income corresponding to higher impacts. The higher the income bracket the more was spent on food and this translated through to a higher environmental impact (GHG CO2e, water, waste, energy) at higher incomes.

30 January 2015

In his article in The Economist, it is argued that China’s insatiable appetite for pork is not only a symbol of the country’s rise, but also a danger to the world from a sustainability perspective. The article discusses the history of pork consumption in China, its cultural and economic importance as well as how it impacts land use and large scale land acquisitions abroad.

29 January 2015

This report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee focuses on food security. The report makes recommendations for managing consumer demand, such as by encouraging the purchase of sustainably sourced products or the most nutritious food in order to help deliver environmental and health goals. It does not argue that there should be any further degree of compulsion on individuals.

29 January 2015

This paper explores links between lifestyles, diet and health in Italian generations X (born: 1966-1976) and Y (born 1980-2000), and compares their dietary preferences, using the years 2001 and 2011 as reference points. The researchers argue that policy needs to address specific segments of these generations more likely to eat an unhealthy diet and to focus on behaviour change through communication campaigns.

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