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A review of consumer awareness, understanding and use of food-based dietary guidelines.

Brown, KA, Timotijevic, L, Barnett, J, Shepherd, R, Lähteenmäki, L and Raats, MM (2011) A review of consumer awareness, understanding and use of food-based dietary guidelines. British Journal of Nutrition, 106 (1). 15 - 26. ISSN 0007-1145

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Abstract

Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) have primarily been designed for the consumer to encourage healthy, habitual food choices, decrease chronic disease risk and improve public health. However, minimal research has been conducted to evaluate whether FBDG are utilised by the public. The present review used a framework of three concepts, awareness, understanding and use, to summarise consumer evidence related to national FBDG and food guides. Searches of nine electronic databases, reference lists and Internet grey literature elicited 939 articles. Predetermined exclusion criteria selected twenty-eight studies for review. These consisted of qualitative, quantitative and mixed study designs, non-clinical participants, related to official FBDG for the general public, and involved measures of consumer awareness, understanding or use of FBDG. The three concepts of awareness, understanding and use were often discussed interchangeably. Nevertheless, a greater amount of evidence for consumer awareness and understanding was reported than consumer use of FBDG. The twenty-eight studies varied in terms of aim, design and method. Study quality also varied with raw qualitative data, and quantitative method details were often omitted. Thus, the reliability and validity of these review findings may be limited. Further research is required to evaluate the efficacy of FBDG as a public health promotion tool. If the purpose of FBDG is to evoke consumer behaviour change, then the framework of consumer awareness, understanding and use of FBDG may be useful to categorise consumer behaviour studies and complement the dietary survey and health outcome data in the process of FBDG evaluation and revision.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in British Journal of Nutrition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in British Journal of Nutrition, 106 (1), March 2011, DOI 10.1017/S0007114511000250. Cambridge University Press.
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Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 15:00
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/25586

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