Food culture and dietary choice

The research has three components. The first is to examine the impact of dietary information using Q methodology. Providing nutritional information on pre-packaged foods does not necessarily lead to healthier choices. We will examine how consumers think about food and nutritional information. The Q method will generate detailed descriptions of different points of view which will enable the identification of target groups for messages to promote healthier choices. The second component will examine influences on children’s food choices using secondary data and will consider the feasibility of natural experiments to estimate the impact of non-household food providers, such as schools. The final component will use food purchasing data to analyse the strength of habitual behaviour for specific food categories using either traditional demand models or discrete choice models. Habit formation will be captured using past purchasing behaviour as a factor influencing current purchases, and accounting for key socio-economic characteristics including purchasing power. We will examine how habitual behaviour may impact on responses to interventions to promote healthier diets.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Patrícia NorwoodAnne Ludbrook, Ourega-Zoé Ejebu and Yu Aoki

External Collaborators: P. Morgan and J.Macdiarmid (Rowett Institute of Health and Nutrition)


Bitzios, M., Ludbrook, A., Norwood, P. and McNamee, P. (2017) 'Parental and household influences on variation in children’s diet quality', Public Health in Scotland: Transcending Boundaries, Aviemore, 2-3 November 2017.

Ejebu, O.Aoki, Y.Norwood, P. and Ludbrook, A. (2019) 'Longitudinal analysis of parents’ influence on children discretionary food choices', European Health Economics Association (EuHEA) Student-Supervisor Conference, Católica Business School Porto, Portugal, 4-6 September 2019.