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Title: Healthy-food choice and purchasing behaviour analysis : an exploratory study of families in the UK
Author: Al Kurdi, Barween Hikmat
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 7213
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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Over the last three decades, poor eating habits and their consequences have become an increased area of concern worldwide (Higgs, 2004). This phenomenon is not an isolated issue as it affects various social categories, particularly families (Vogt, 2006). In fact, people’s food choice and eating behaviour have been thoroughly investigated in recent times as food choice and consumption have increasingly shifted towards unhealthy-food products. For example, fast-food consumption is increasing rapidly. Thus, studying family-food choices and consumption is essential, especially from parents’ viewpoints, according to Birch and Davison (2001), since parents provide food environments for their children from the earliest stages of life. The most direct influences on children’s food choices, especially in their early years, are their parents and families. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the family and has targeted UK families, investigating their food choice determinants as the main theme. Moreover, the study tries to find suitable answers to the research question, What are the main factors that affect families’ healthy-food product choices? Thus, healthy-food purchasing and consumption gaps could be addressed by further research in two ways. First, emphasis should be placed on studying the factors that affect patterns of healthy-food choice and consumption in families, so as to create a more effective and healthy community. Second, studying the barriers to healthy eating requires investigating factors influencing food choice both outside and inside the home. The choice of food is influenced by a variety of complex and interrelated factors involved in individual, family and societal levels. Thus, to have a clear understanding of food choice and its determining factors inside and outside the home, this study employed the Behavioural Perspective Model (BPM) as the main theoretical and practical framework to give a clear operant explanation of family-food choices within a real behaviour context. The context of this study is food choice, which is determined by the main BPM elements, namely, consumer behaviour setting, consumer learning history, both utilitarian and informational reinforcements and both utilitarian and informational punishments. Based on the study’s framework, a set of hypotheses was designed and tested using different data collection approaches and analysis instruments. Suitable data was collected from UK families to test the planned hypotheses to achieve the study objectives. Based on the data analysis, the study found that families’ food choice was determined by a set of factors, which were behaviour setting, utilitarian punishment and informational punishment factors, without consideration of learning history, utilitarian reinforcement and informational reinforcement factors. Therefore, this study describes and provides a tested way of how parents might influence their family members to be healthy through buying and consuming healthy-food products in the continuous purchasing setting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available