Perceived benefits of healthy eating among a nationally-representative sample of adults in the European Union
Zunft, H.J.; Friebe, D.; Seppelt, B.; de Graaf, C.; Margetts, B.; Schmitt, A.; Gibney, M.J.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 51(Suppl): S41-S46
ISSN/ISBN: 0954-3007 PMID: 9222723 Accession: 002917240
Objective: To determine the main perceived benefits associated with healthy eating among European adults. Efforts to make a healthy diet more attractive have to be based on motives capable of stimulating alterations in nutritional behaviour. Design: A cross-sectional study in which quota-controlled, nationally-representative samples of approximately 1000 adults from each country completed a face-to-face interview-assisted questionnaire. Setting: The survey was conducted between October 1995 and February 1996 in the 15 member states of the European Union. Subjects: A total of 14 331 subjects (aged 15 y upwards) completed the questionnaire. Data were weighted by population size for each country and by sex, age and regional distribution within each member state. Results: The question 'which specific benefits, if any, would you personally believe can be achieved by healthy eating'? was answered from a collection of 9 given items with stay healthy by 67% of subjects, with prevent disease by 66%, with be fit by 53%, with control weight by 53% and with quality of life by 45%. The most important personal benefit was asked by the question 'which one benefit would be the most personally significant for you'? 31% of subjects stated stay healthy, 24% prevent disease, 10% control weight, 10% quality of life, 9% be fit. The frequency of answered statements differed considerably between the EU countries, however, no regional structure was detected. More women then men expected benefits from healthy eating. With increasing age more people tended to believe in the benefits stay healthy and prevent disease. Be fit was a more important benefit for younger people (aged 15-34 y). People with a higher level of education associated more benefits from healthy eating.