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Factors influencing diet and health concerns among Canadian consumers Open Access


Other title
consumer, food, purchase, demographic, health, obesity, survey, meat
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chamanifard, Maryam
Supervisor and department
Anders, Sven (Rural Economy)
An, Henry (Rural Economy)
Examining committee member and department
Wismer, Wendy
Schroeter, Christiane
Rural Economy

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This thesis focuses on Canadian consumers concerns and attitudes towards healthy eating. The analysis is based on two years (2007 and 2008) of the Nielsen Health and Wellness survey data (Nielsen, 2008) and Nielsen Homescan household food purchase data. These datasets are used to investigate, first participating Canadian consumers stated food and health behaviour, and second the actual revealed meat purchase patterns of the same households. The results from logistical regression models show how differences in social-demographic factors and food behaviours affect consumers’ health and dietary concerns. Significant variables are gender, age, family lifestyle, changing eating habits towards a healthier lifestyle, and information from products’ Nutrition Facts Tables. These variables are key factors that increase the probability of Canadians being more concerned about their future health, healthy eating, as well as obesity in their household. In the second analysis, meat purchase patterns across survey participants with varying stated levels of health and dietary concerns are investigated using descriptive data analysis. Although the first part of analysis suggested that consumers are getting more knowledgeable about making healthier food choices and diet-health related problems resulting from an unbalanced diet, no differences in meat purchase patterns related to households’ stated diet and health concerns were found. The discrepancies between stated and revealed food, diet, and health preferences among Canadians suggest that more emphasis needs to be placed on consumer information and education to improve healthy food choices in meat and other products. Also, the relationship between consumer socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and their impact on consumer health behavior requires further attention. Improved knowledge and information regarding Canadian consumers’ diet and health behavior can support more efficient marketing programs for healthier products and assist policy makers in designing more effective policies aimed at changing Canadians’ diets to promote healthier lifestyles.
License granted by Maryam Chamani Fard ( on 2011-04-16T02:43:02Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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