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Barriers And Facilitators Of Brown Rice Consumption Among Staff At Durban University Of Technology, South Africa


  • Reddy, A
  • Naicker, A
  • Singh, E


South Africa is experiencing an epidemiological and nutrition transition that is characterised by a surge in the prevalence of overweight and obesity, with an increase in the consumption of energy-dense, low nutritive value foods and beverages and a marked decrease in physical activity. Numerous studies have documented the healthful benefits of making the transitional shift from white rice to brown rice. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators of brown rice consumption among staff at Durban University of Technology in South Africa. In this exploratory qualitative study, focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to gain an understanding of brown rice consumption among staff at the university. The study sample comprised of non-diabetic, permanent and contract staff at the University. Three focus group discussions were conducted until meaning saturation was reached; two were face to face and one online. Data were analysed using the thematic analysis method. Participants perceived healthy foods as safe and nutrient-dense, with consumption leading to positive health outcomes whereas unhealthy foods were perceived as energy-dense, nutrient-poor and hyper-palatable. The main determinants of food choice included peer and family influence, psychological state, education, availability, affordability, state of health and taste. Factors that influenced rice choice included sensory acceptability, availability, affordability, cultural acceptability, and convenience. Major barriers of brown rice consumption included family preferences and influence, sensory acceptability, time-intensive preparation, affordability, knowledge and skills. Two facilitators of brown rice consumption emerged: natural sensory appeal and healthful benefits. The sensory attributes of brown rice have had limited consumer acceptance, compelling the activation of consumer education and visually enticing cues in preparation methods and extended application uses in food products. This study found that the inclusion and acceptance of brown rice into the participants’ diet is limited. A multi-stakeholder approach towards consumer education and practical preparation solutions is likely to positively influence consumer acceptance of brown rice. Innovative and creative food behaviour modifications should be promoted to channel change towards healthier food choices for a positive impact on health and wellness.

Suggested Citation

  • Reddy, A & Naicker, A & Singh, E, 2023. "Barriers And Facilitators Of Brown Rice Consumption Among Staff At Durban University Of Technology, South Africa," African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND), African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND), vol. 23(6), June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ajfand:340720
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.340720

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