A qualitative study of psychological, social and behavioral barriers to appropriate food portion size control

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/298992
Title:
A qualitative study of psychological, social and behavioral barriers to appropriate food portion size control
Authors:
Spence, Michelle; Livingstone, M BE; Hollywood, Lynsey E; Gibney, Eileen R; O’Brien, Sinéad A; Pourshahidi, L K; Dean, Moira
Citation:
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2013 Aug 01;10(1):92
Issue Date:
1-Aug-2013
URI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-92; http://hdl.handle.net/10147/298992
Abstract:
Abstract Background Given the worldwide prevalence of overweight and obesity, there is a clear need for meaningful practical healthy eating advice - not only in relation to food choice, but also on appropriate food portion sizes. As the majority of portion size research to date has been overwhelmingly quantitative in design, there is a clear need to qualitatively explore consumers’ views in order to fully understand how food portion size decisions are made. Using qualitative methodology this present study aimed to explore consumers’ views about factors influencing their portion size selection and consumption and to identify barriers to appropriate portion size control. Methods Ten focus groups with four to nine participants in each were formed with a total of 66 persons (aged 19–64 years) living on the island of Ireland. The semi-structured discussions elicited participants’ perceptions of suggested serving size guidance and explored the influence of personal, social and environmental factors on their food portion size consumption. Audiotapes of the discussions were professionally transcribed verbatim, loaded into NVivo 9, and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis procedure. Results The rich descriptive data derived from participants highlight that unhealthy portion size behaviors emanate from various psychological, social and behavioral factors. These bypass reflective and deliberative control, and converge to constitute significant barriers to healthy portion size control. Seven significant barriers to healthy portion size control were apparent: (1) lack of clarity and irrelevance of suggested serving size guidance; (2) guiltless eating; (3) lack of self-control over food cues; (4) distracted eating; (5) social pressures; (6) emotional eating rewards; and (7) quantification habits ingrained from childhood. Conclusions Portion size control strategies should empower consumers to overcome these effects so that the consumption of appropriate food portion sizes becomes automatic and habitual.
Item Type:
Journal Article

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSpence, Michelle-
dc.contributor.authorLivingstone, M BE-
dc.contributor.authorHollywood, Lynsey E-
dc.contributor.authorGibney, Eileen R-
dc.contributor.authorO’Brien, Sinéad A-
dc.contributor.authorPourshahidi, L K-
dc.contributor.authorDean, Moira-
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-16T13:39:15Z-
dc.date.available2013-08-16T13:39:15Z-
dc.date.issued2013-08-01-
dc.identifier.citationInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2013 Aug 01;10(1):92-
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-92-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/298992-
dc.description.abstractAbstract Background Given the worldwide prevalence of overweight and obesity, there is a clear need for meaningful practical healthy eating advice - not only in relation to food choice, but also on appropriate food portion sizes. As the majority of portion size research to date has been overwhelmingly quantitative in design, there is a clear need to qualitatively explore consumers’ views in order to fully understand how food portion size decisions are made. Using qualitative methodology this present study aimed to explore consumers’ views about factors influencing their portion size selection and consumption and to identify barriers to appropriate portion size control. Methods Ten focus groups with four to nine participants in each were formed with a total of 66 persons (aged 19–64 years) living on the island of Ireland. The semi-structured discussions elicited participants’ perceptions of suggested serving size guidance and explored the influence of personal, social and environmental factors on their food portion size consumption. Audiotapes of the discussions were professionally transcribed verbatim, loaded into NVivo 9, and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis procedure. Results The rich descriptive data derived from participants highlight that unhealthy portion size behaviors emanate from various psychological, social and behavioral factors. These bypass reflective and deliberative control, and converge to constitute significant barriers to healthy portion size control. Seven significant barriers to healthy portion size control were apparent: (1) lack of clarity and irrelevance of suggested serving size guidance; (2) guiltless eating; (3) lack of self-control over food cues; (4) distracted eating; (5) social pressures; (6) emotional eating rewards; and (7) quantification habits ingrained from childhood. Conclusions Portion size control strategies should empower consumers to overcome these effects so that the consumption of appropriate food portion sizes becomes automatic and habitual.-
dc.titleA qualitative study of psychological, social and behavioral barriers to appropriate food portion size control-
dc.typeJournal Article-
dc.language.rfc3066en-
dc.rights.holderMichelle Spence et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.-
dc.description.statusPeer Reviewed-
dc.date.updated2013-08-05T15:08:31Z-
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