Food-related lifestyles and their association to obesity in five European countries

Federico J.A. Pérez-Cueto, Wim Verbeke, Marcia Dutra de Barcellos, Olga Kehagia, Georgios Chrysochoidis, Joachim Scholderer, Klaus G. Grunert

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This paper's objective is to investigate the associations between obesity and Food-Related Lifestyles (FRL) in five European countries. A cross-sectional web-based survey was carried out in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland, January 2008, with quota samples on gender (male, female), age categories (20–44 and 45–70 years), and locality of residence (urban, rural). A total of 2437 respondents (51% women, 49% men; mean age 41.4 years, SD 13.1) participated. Obtained data included socio-demographic information, measure of the food-related lifestyle scale and self-reported weights and heights. Body Mass Index (in kg/m²) was calculated as weight (in kg) divided by the squared height (in m²). Individuals were classified as obese if BMI=30. Logistic regressions were fitted for the aggregated sample and then by country with obese as dependent and socio-demographics and FRL were included as independents. The prevalence of obesity in the five countries is 22%. Europeans giving more importance to ‘self-fulfilment’ (odds=1.18), ‘planning of meals’ (odds=1.15), and preferring ‘snacks vs. meals’ (odds=1.24) are more likely to be obese. Respondents were less likely to be obese if they attached lower levels of importance to the use of ‘shopping lists’ (odds=0.87). The overall picture is that a stronger interest in health, organic products and freshness, within the FLR domain of quality aspects, is associated with ‘not being obese’. This study has identified specific FRL dimensions as potential predictors of obesity. The resulting consumers’ profiling can be used for targeted interventions for weight management in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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