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An Examination of Behaviors and Attitudes toward Food Based on the Self-Reported Desire to Lose Weight: A Comparison of Two Groups in the United States and Italy

Author

Listed:
  • McGarry Wolf, Marianne
  • Bertolini, Paola
  • Matheson, Traci A.
  • Pringle, Kylie

Abstract

This research uses a survey instrument in the United States and Italy to examine the relationship between consumers’ demographics, attitudes, and behaviors toward food purchasing and their self-described desire to lose weight. Approximately two-thirds of consumers in the United States and slightly over half of consumers in Italy indicated a desire to lose weight. Married consumers with children in the household in both countries are more likely to desire to lose weight. Furthermore, consumers from both countries who desire to lose weight were more likely to agree that “the main meal of the day is the most important time of the day for my household.†Although the main meal of the day is more important to consumers from both countries who desire to lose weight, consumers in the United States who desire to lose weight were more likely to indicate that every member of their families eat the main meal together. Consumers in Italy who desire to lose weight were less likely to indicate that every member of their families eat the main meal together. The self-described overweight consumers in both countries enjoy cooking and have sufficient food for their families. However, the overweight consumer in the United States is often too busy to cook. This research finds no difference in the number of meals eaten away from home in a typical week between those in each country who desire to lose weight and those who do not. Furthermore, in the United States the sources of foods eaten away from home, such as fast food, are not related to the importance to the consumer of weight loss.

Suggested Citation

  • McGarry Wolf, Marianne & Bertolini, Paola & Matheson, Traci A. & Pringle, Kylie, 2008. "An Examination of Behaviors and Attitudes toward Food Based on the Self-Reported Desire to Lose Weight: A Comparison of Two Groups in the United States and Italy," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 39(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlofdr:55624
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