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Do healthy food intentions lead to healthy consumption?

An experiment which investigated whether food intentions matched consumption among patrons attending a large community festival.

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Project Details

Food environments can influence food intake and it has been suggested that unhealthy settings contribute to the increasing rates of overweight and obesity more so than individual factors. Currently, limited research exists about food choices made in the context of festivals. This study aimed to investigate patrons’ healthy food purchasing intentions and behaviours within this setting.

Pre-post surveys were conducted among 100 festival patrons aged over 15 years. Participants were recruited upon entry, fitted with a pedometer and completed a survey indicating their food intentions for the day. Upon exiting, respondents returned the pedometers and completed a post-survey that recorded their actual purchases.

Overall, the study showed that festival patrons’ largely desired unhealthy foods upon arrival, with this reflected in their food purchasing behaviours.  However, among patrons who did not intend to get any food, or planned to buy healthy food, purchasing behaviour suggests they too bought mostly unhealthy foods. The impact of the food environment is discussed.

Suggested Citation:

Ferguson, R., Davies, C., Lester, L. and Rosenberg, M. (2015) Healthy food intentions fail to lead to healthy consumption at an Australian festival. Nutrition & Dietetics.

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