Three Essays on Canadian Household Consumption of Food Away From Home with Special Emphasis on Health and Nutrition

  • Author / Creator
    Fernando, Jeewani
  • Consumption of food away from home (FAFH) is widely believed to be a contributing factor to the current obesity crisis and other diet related problems in North America. At present, in Canada, a number of issues related to FAFH consumption such as the relationship between obesity and fast foods, trans-fats, sugar and sodium content of restaurant foods, and restaurant advertising for children are being widely discussed. In these discussions, it is apparent that the interrelationships between FAFH, nutrition and diet related diseases are complex. Therefore, there are significant gaps in our knowledge. In this study, a number of important research questions related to FAFH consumption were studied in order to provide a detailed understanding of FAFH purchase trends, nutrient demand trends, factors affecting these trends and to provide some idea of the possible effectiveness of proposed policy interventions in the area. In paper one of this study, a sample of Canadian FAFH purchases were analysed using a two stage demand model to examine the impact of industry advertising, households’ habit forming preferences and socio-demographic and economic variables. Given the unique method of restaurant categorization, results provide new and additional information of the impact of above variables in Canadian context. The second study examined the demand for selected nutrients in FAFH to understand factors affecting nutrient intake in FAFH foods focusing on chain restaurants. An innovative measure of nutrient content (nutrient density) was used in the analysis and study results provides interesting new information about nutrient consumption from chain restaurants in the FAFH market. The third study examined how some specific food industry changes in product formulations aimed at reducing trans-fatty acids (TFAs) could and have affected consumers’ overall diet quality and their demand for food away from home. This study provides some indications of effectiveness of the current trans-fat recommendations in Canada. In summary, this study is an empirical investigation of a number of questions related to Canadian FAFH consumption: What is the structure of the FAFH market in Canada? What are the households’ FAFH purchasing patterns? What is the impact of advertising and habit forming preferences and socio-economic and demographic factors on FAFH purchases? What are the nutrition profiles of the most popular menu items of chain restaurants? What are the factors affecting nutrient demand in FAFH foods? Would a specific food industry change in product formulation such as reducing TFAs have affect consumers’ overall diet quality and their demand for FAFH? In general, results from the three independent studies provide useful information to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge of FAFH consumption, especially on health and nutrition with implications for public policy.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Adamowicz, Vic (Rural Economy)
    • Rude, James (Rural Economy)
    • Nayga, Rudy (Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Arkansas)
    • Mohapatra, Sandeep (Rural Economy)
    • Farmer, Anna (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)