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Consuming and Communicating Fruit and Vegetables: A Nation-Wide Food Survey and Analysis of Blogs among Swedish Adults
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to investigate fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption among Swedish adults and to use F&V-related perceptions for audience segmentation. Further, the aim was to identify motives and approaches of F&V bloggers, as well as to analyze F&V-related online discourses.

F&V consumption and related perceptions were surveyed using a questionnaire among a random sample of Swedish adults (18-84y; final response rate 51%; n=1 304). F&V consumption was measured using a self-administered pre-coded 24-h recall and FFQ. The average consumption was close to the recommendations. Women in general and men born outside Sweden as well as the physically active respondents consumed the most F&V. The respondents were divided into two clusters based on their F&V-related perceptions. Positive cluster with more women and higher mean age consumed more F&V, whereas Indifferent cluster experienced more practical, habitual as well as external problems with F&V consumption. Cluster analysis is an example of audience segmentation for communicative purposes.

A sample of 50 lay-people blogs with F&V-related content were analyzed with a qualitative content analysis. Two-dimensional categories – level of dietary influential purpose and source of experience – were used to identify blogger ideal types. Exhibitionist with a passive level of dietary influence and lived experiences was the most common type. Persuaders use lived experiences to actively influence their readers, whereas Authorities try to influence mediating others’ experiences. The Mediator is described as a neutral observer. Understanding the role of blogs in everyday communication is important for targeting health messages. A critical discourse analysis was applied to Persuader bloggers’ texts (n=12). Three F&V-related discourses were identified: normative consumption, authentic consumption and altruistic consumption. This analysis is useful for the last process of dietetic communication, namely tailoring the messages.

The present four studies approach dietetic communication processes from a research perspective. However, a further step might be to apply these to a health promotion initiative starting from an identified diet-related problem (e.g. low F&V consumption) through audience segmentation (e.g. through cluster analysis) and targeting a relevant channel (e.g. through blogs) finally to tailor the message (e.g. findings from discourse analysis).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 73 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 70
Keyword [en]
fruit and vegetables, 24-h recall, food frequency questionnaire, discourse analysis, cluster analysis, communication, blogs
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156978ISBN: 978-91-554-8124-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156978DiVA: diva2:433993
Public defence
2011-09-30, B21, BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-09 Created: 2011-08-12 Last updated: 2011-11-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Laypeople blog about fruit and vegetables for self-expression and dietary influence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Laypeople blog about fruit and vegetables for self-expression and dietary influence
2011 (English)In: Health Communication, ISSN 1041-0236, E-ISSN 1532-7027, Vol. 26, no 7, 621-630 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Private health information websites run by laypeople are more often visited than websites of official agencies. Understanding the role of weblogs in dietetic communication-i.e., sharing personal perceptions on healthy eating-is still lacking. This study aims to describe the nature of noncommercial Swedish blogs with fruits and vegetables (F&V)-related content and to identify different blogger types. A qualitative content analysis with abduction was performed on 50 weblogs. Most bloggers presented themselves as women. Only one-third reported their age (range 17 to over 50 years). The bloggers had either an active or passive influential purpose, and they approached F&V through either lived or mediated experiences. From these two dimensions, four F&V blogger ideal types were identified: the Persuader, the Authority, the Exhibitionist, and the Mediator. Particularly women wrote about their lived experiences close to the personal level, whereas men were more equally distributed across the different ideal types. Self-expression (typical for the Exhibitionist) and purpose to influence others' diets (typical for the Persuader and the Authority) were frequently expressed in these weblogs. The current findings on blogging purposes, approaches, and F&V blogger types may help to improve online dietetic communication, which sets new challenges for media strategies of health and nutritional professionals.

Keyword
fruit and vegetables, blogs, online, health communication, dietetic communication
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-153114 (URN)10.1080/10410236.2011.561520 (DOI)000299568100005 ()21541865 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2011-05-05 Created: 2011-05-05 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Fruit and vegetable consumption close to recommendations: A partly web-based nationwide dietary survey in Swedish adults
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fruit and vegetable consumption close to recommendations: A partly web-based nationwide dietary survey in Swedish adults
2009 (English)In: Food and Nutrition Research, ISSN 1654-661X, Vol. 53Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 Background

Fruit and vegetables (F&V) are strongly associated with health. The latest Swedish national dietary survey from a decade ago showed that consumption of F&V was below recommended levels. However, current consumption in different subgroups is not well known. 

Objective

To investigate the consumption of various F&V types in Swedish adults grouped according to sociodemographic factors and self-reported physical activity (PA).

Design

A cross-sectional survey using a quantitative pen-and-paper or web-based questionnaire in a population-based random sample of adults 18–84 years (final n=1,304; 51%). A self-administered 24-h recall and a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) were used to measure F&V consumption. Data on gender, age, education level, country of birth, and PA (hours/week) were included as grouping variables. Besides descriptive data, two-sample t-tests and non-parametric tests were performed. A P-value <0.01 was regarded as significant.

Results

Mean F&V consumption based on the self-administered 24-h recall was close to the recommended five portions/day: 5.4 (99% CI 5.1–5.6) portions/day among women and 4.7 (4.4–5.0) portions/day among men (P<0.001). Also the FFQ showed that women generally consumed more F&V than men did. Consumption was lowest among respondents with ≤ 0.5 h self-reported PA/week (P≤0.001), as well as among men born in Sweden (P=0.006). F&V were consumed in almost equal amounts, and fresh F&V were most popular. Intake of berries and cooked F&V was relatively low.

Conclusion

The present study shows a relatively high F&V consumption close to the recommended five portions per day. Gender differences still exist. Also PA and country of birth were significantly associated with F&V consumption.

Keyword
fruit and vegetables, dietary survey, physical activity, questionnaire, web-based
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112034 (URN)10.3402/fnr.v53i0.2023 (DOI)
Projects
Fruit and vegetables in everyday life. Consumption, attitudes and online health communication
Available from: 2010-01-07 Created: 2010-01-07 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved
3. Normative, Authentic and Altruistic Fruit and Vegetable Consumption as Weblog Discourses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Normative, Authentic and Altruistic Fruit and Vegetable Consumption as Weblog Discourses
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Consumer Studies, ISSN 1470-6423, E-ISSN 1470-6431, Vol. 37, no 1, 66-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Internet is a growing information and communication channel for health- and diet-related issues. Keeping updated on the fruit- and vegetable-related (F&V) discourses among laypeople is important for health communicators in order to promote F&V consumption through tailored health messages. The aim of the present study was to identify F&V-related discourses in weblogs that were maintained, obviously, to influence diet. A theoretically chosen sample of weblogs were analysed applying critical discourse analysis. The analysis showed three partly overlapping F&V-related discourses: (1) normative consumption with a focus on single nutrients and physiological mechanisms; (2) authentic consumption with a desire for naturalness; and (3) altruistic consumption where ethical responsibilities are enhanced. Bloggers have clear perceptions on ideal F&V consumption, but it is a challenge for the reader to make a synthesis of the discourses presented. Filtering contradictory instructions requires health literacy, which may need more support from dietetic professionals.

Keyword
Critical discourse analysis, dietetic communication, fruit and vegetables, health communication, weblogs
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156980 (URN)10.1111/j.1470-6431.2011.01058.x (DOI)000313692200009 ()
Available from: 2011-08-12 Created: 2011-08-12 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Cluster Analysis of Fruit and Vegetable Related Perceptions: An Alternative Approach of Consumer Segmentation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cluster Analysis of Fruit and Vegetable Related Perceptions: An Alternative Approach of Consumer Segmentation
2013 (English)In: Journal of human nutrition and dietetics (Print), ISSN 0952-3871, E-ISSN 1365-277X, Vol. 26, no 1, 38-47 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:  Audience segmentation optimises health communication aimed to promote healthy dietary habits, such as fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption. The present study aimed to segment respondents into clusters based on F&V-related perceptions, and to describe these clusters with respect to F&V consumption and sex.

Methods:  The cross-sectional study was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire. The respondents were randomly selected among Swedish adults (n = 1304; response rate 51%; 56% women). A two-step cluster analysis was conducted followed by a binary logistic regression with cluster membership as a dependent variable. The clusters were compared using t-tests and chi-squared tests. P < 0.05 (two-sided) was considered statistically significant. The respondents’ open-ended answers of determinants of F&V consumption were used as a descriptive support for the conducted multivariate analysis.

Results:  Of the two identified clusters, the Positive cluster (n = 476) was older and consumed more vegetables (both sexes) and fruit (women only), whereas men in the Indifferent cluster (n = 715) consumed more juice. Indifferent cluster reported more F&V consumption preventing factors, such as storage and preparation difficulties and low satisfaction with F&V selection and price. Not liking or not having a habit of F&V consumption, laziness, forgetting and a lack of time were mentioned as main barriers to F&V consumption.

Conclusions:  The Indifferent cluster reports more practical and life-style related difficulties. The Positive cluster consumes more vegetables, perceives fewer F&V-related difficulties, and looks for more dietary information. The findings confirm that cluster analysis is an appropriate way of identifying consumer subgroups for targeted health and nutrition communication.

Keyword
cluster analysis, consumer segmentation, fruit and vegetables, health communication
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156982 (URN)10.1111/j.1365-277X.2012.01272.x (DOI)000313899800006 ()
Available from: 2011-08-12 Created: 2011-08-12 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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