In terms of nutrition food and health are great concern all over the world. The major concentration is on the threats exerted by kinds of foods, and how we can cut them by avoiding junk foods and modifying our daily diets. For example, many consumers avoid the white sugar as they perceive that it is harmful for health.
Many nutrition and health authorities offer guidance for people to avoid health problems associated with over or under-consumption of certain foods. However, it largely depends on the attitude of the people to their food intake and health.
There is no specific way to find out individual food concern. Many people express their concern many ways that are not familiar to them such as; additives receive more attention than the fat because people have less control over additives. So, people of different ages, gender and educational background will differ in health and food issues as their familiarity and control are different.
Women are more conscious about food and health issues than men. They are largely responsible for cooking of food for child as well as all for other family members. Moreover, during shopping they have to harmonize the price of foods and nutrition needs of all the members of family.
In Australia, majority (80%) of the shopper of main foods are women. Similarly, elderly and middle-aged people have more experience about food associated health diseases. So, they concern more about this issue than the young people.
People who received higher education are more familiar and have more control over different issues. In contrast, uneducated people mostly take cheap and poor quality foods. Consequently, they face more health problems. So, they should be more concern about most issues.
Shopping survey study conducted in Australia and New Zealand found some interesting information in the issue. In Australia, safety issues get most concern along with reliability of food labels, ecological issues. However, concern about heart disease and cancer linked to food get medium ranking.
In general, women show greater concern than men. People who continue their study till the age of 16 expressed two main concerns; one is lubricating TV advertise of junk food and it impacts on children and another one is packaging of foods.
Older people have diverse concern than other age group. They are aware of cleaning, bacteria, fruit waxing, safe drinking water, manufacturing company, import and long distance transport of foods, poverty in Australia and other countries. However they pay less attention in reliability of food labels.
The consumers’ concerns in New Zealand showed similar patterns as in Australia. Women are mostly (75%) engaged in food shopping. Here safety issues are dominating concern of people while concern for poor people and other got medium and food associated heart disease and cancer got lest concern.
Concern of people older than 45 years ranged from food regulation, fat-containing foods, shortage of home-made foods, chemical residues, real cost of food production, and wastage of food to food-scarcity in poor countries. Interestingly, younger people are more concern about the time spends in shopping.
People show a broad range of concern in food and health issues but the underlying dimensions are relatively small and embrace the personal food and health safety issues, sympathy for others and factors related to food systems that consumers are unable to control.