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Grocery shoppers' stage of change in nutrition label use and perceived value of a nutrition label guide

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Finlay, Karen (main author), O'Brien, Carolyn (author), Woolcott, Donna (author), Division of Applied Human Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Conference paper
Publication Date:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois Box: 97
Subject Term:
behavior, buying behavior, Canada, decision process, food, nutrition information, nutrition labeling, perceptions
James F. Evans Collection, Ham, Mimeographed, 1994. 1 p. Presented at the Society for Nutrition Education, Portland, OR, July 16-20, 1994., Stages of change theory framed this study of grocery shoppers (n=65 adults, 18-44 yr) which categorized them according to intentions to use nutrition labels in food purchase decisions. A scale and scoring algorithm were developed using Prochaska and Diclemente's framework. Respondents were categorized into four stages of behavior change. Results indicated that the majority of respondents (55%) were in maintenance stage, 25% were in action stage, 6& in contemplation stage and 14% in precontemplation stage. Respondents were also asked to rate the Canadian government Guide to Nutrition Labelling. Differences in the rating of perceived value of the Guide were observed between the action and maintenance stage respondents for the overall usefulness of the Guide in assisting them "to make wise food choices". The action stage respondents rate the Guide 2.80 (on a 9 point scale) on this attribute and the maintenance groups rated it higher (p<.01) at a mean of 6.5. The action group's mean rating of 4.80 for "how easy it was to understand the information" in the Guide differed (p<.05) from the rating of the maintenance group (7.2). Similarly, in response to the question: "how well do you understand the definitions of nutrition terms in this Guide?", the action group rated their understanding fo the definitions (5.0) lower (p<.05) than the maintenance group (7.55) and lower than the precontemplation group (7.2). Although small sample sizes limit interpretation, it appears that different interventions may be needed for people at different stages of change.