Subjective welfare, well-being, and self-reported food hypersensitivity in four European countries: Implications for European policy

Jantine Voordouw, Gerrit Antonides, Margaret Fox, Inmaculada Cerecedo, Javier Zamora, Belen Hoz Caballer, Ewa Rokicka, Judith Cornelisse-Vermaat, Maciej Jewczak, Pawel Starosta, Marek L. Kowalska, Monika Jędrzejczak-Czechowicz, Sonia Vázquez-Cortés, Cano Escudero, Bertine Flokstra Blok, Anthony Dubois, Miranda Mugford, Lynn J. Frewer

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This study estimates the effects of food hypersensitivity on individuals’ perceived welfare and well-being compared to non-food hypersensitive individuals. Study respondents were recruited in the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and UK. The difference in welfare between food hypersensitive respondents and those asymptomatic to foods was estimated using a subjective welfare approach, including income evaluation. Well-being was measured using the Cantril Ladder-of-Life Scale, and health status using the Self-Perceived Health Scale. The difference in well-being, welfare and health status between participant groups was explained further using a number of background variables. No significant within-country differences in welfare between food hypersensitive respondents and respondents asymptomatic to foods were found. In terms of well-being, adult food hypersensitive respondents and their spouses reported significantly less happiness than respondents and their spouses asymptomatic to foods in the Netherlands and Poland. In Spain, the spouses of the food hypersensitive respondents were significantly less happy than respondents aymptomatic to foods. The well-being of children did not significantly differ between groups. The degree of severity of food hypersensitivity was negatively related to overall health status. In Poland, food hypersensitive respondents reported worse health status compared to asymptomatic respondents. In Spain, the converse was true. Food hypersensitive respondents were generally less happy with their life as a whole than respondents asymptomatic to foods, presumably because they experienced more negative effects, which were not related to perceived health status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-482
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
Early online date27 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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