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Title: Leptogenicity of the food environment and food choice behaviour in leisure centres
Author: Ashworth, Pippa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 1645
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2017
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Leisure centres offer a platform for physical activity. Previous research however suggests that leisure centre food environments may not be congruent with the leptogenic (lean promoting) physical activity offer. Despite this, there is a paucity of research evaluating the food environment and food consumer behaviour in UK leisure centres. A situational analysis was carried out in leisure centres using the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO), and the food offer was categorised using the Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM). Semi-structured interviews were used to explore leisure centre café users' (n 7), managers' (n 2) and catering managers' (n 2) perceptions of the leisure centre food environment and the perceived influences on behaviour. As a result of the findings, a 2-week long experiment was carried out to determine the impact of Calorie information on consumer intention to make healthy food choices and on purchase behaviour. Questionnaires, based on an adapted version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (ATPB), were distributed to café users. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the strength of the hypothesised pathways of the model. The impact of the experiment on the ATPB and energy (kcal) purchased were evaluated using independent samples t-tests. Additionally, consumers were profiled based on their responses to the ATPB using a hierarchical cluster analysis. All stakeholders were supportive of increasing the healthiness of the food environment in leisure centres, however catering managers and managers had concerns over potential financial implications. During the experiment, Calorie information significantly increased consumer confidence and control, however there was no statistical increase in intention to make healthy choices or in the leptogenicity of purchase behaviour. SEM offered a novel approach to demonstrate the strength of the hypothesised pathways and confirmed that the strongest pathway to intention is via attitudes. Three consumer segments were identified; nutritionally motivated, nutritionally ambivalent and nutritionally disinterested. Future research should focus on increasing the availability and visibility of healthy choices, targeting influential people and challenging habit and preference.
Supervisor: Morris, Cecile Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available