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Br J Nutr. 2000 Mar;83(3):277-85.

UK consumer perceptions of starchy foods.

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1
Consumer Sciences Department, Institute of Food Research, Reading, UK. karin.stubenitsky@nzdri.org.nz

Abstract

To gain an understanding of UK consumer attitudes and beliefs regarding starchy foods and their dietary role, a questionnaire based on the theory of planned behaviour was developed and sent out to a UK consumer sample (n 800). The content focused on attitudes and beliefs towards starchy foods, perceived barriers towards increasing their intake (e.g. cost, habit, social influences), perceptions of personal and recommended starchy food intake, intention to increase starchy food intakes in the future and socio-demographic information. Responses (n 414) indicated that consumers have highly divergent attitudes and beliefs regarding starchy foods. These foods are seen as nutritious and good for one's health, but also as high in energy and not helping to control weight, and the overall intention to increase starchy food intake was extremely low. Possible barriers towards increasing starchy food intake were the perceptions that personal starchy food intakes were already high, beliefs that starchy food intakes should be reduced to achieve a healthier diet, and the view that personal starchy food intakes did not need to be changed any further, because (depending on attitude) individual's intakes had already been increased or reduced. The model including attitude and subjective norm had the best fit for predicting reported intention to increase starchy food consumption, with attitude being the strongest contributor. Addition of the factor 'family's liking of starchy foods' significantly improved the model. For reported starch intake, the model including attitude had the best fit, and addition of other factors did not improve the model. These findings indicate that health promotion strategies aimed at increasing complex carbohydrate intakes should take these perceptions into consideration; however, further work is required to examine how these potential barriers can best be addressed in practice.

PMID:
10884716
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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