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Nutritional interventions to decrease energy intake, aimed at portion sizes and front-of-package labelling, are effective only if people do not compensate for their reduced energy intake. Since several observational studies indicate that these interventions could prompt compensation behaviour, it is important to assess underlying beliefs. Therefore, the purpose of the two studies reported here was to develop a Diet-related Compensatory Health Beliefs Scale (Diet-CHBS).
Cross-sectional surveys were conducted for the scale development. Study 1 provided data on the factor analysis and convergent validity, while Study 2 assessed the Diet-CHBS’ test–retest reliability.
VU University Amsterdam (Study 1) and twenty-five worksite cafeterias in the Netherlands (Study 2).
Study 1 was conducted among 179 students and their parents; Study 2 was conducted among 119 worksite cafeteria visitors.
The results of Study 1 showed that the scale consisted of the hypothesized factors of compensation beliefs with regard to portion sizes (α = 0·73), front-of-package health logos (α = 0·77) and exercise (α = 0·75). The scale's overall Cronbach's α was 0·82. The Diet-CHBS had a Pearson correlation of 0·32 with a general health compensatory beliefs scale, signifying satisfactory convergent validity. Study 2 showed that the intra-class correlation coefficient between T1 and T2 was 0·69, indicating adequate test–retest reliability.
The Diet-CHBS is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing diet-related compensatory health beliefs in response to nutritional interventions. It is important to take such beliefs into account in further intervention studies aimed at preventing overweight and obesity.
A front-of-pack nutrition logo on products with relatively favourable product compositions might help consumers to make more healthful choices. Studies investigating actual nutrition label use in point-of-purchase settings are scarce. The present study investigates the use of the ‘Choices’ nutrition logo in Dutch supermarkets.
Adults were asked to complete a validated questionnaire about motivation for food choice and their purchased products were scored for the Choices logo after they had done their shopping.
Nine supermarkets in The Netherlands.
A total of 404 respondents participated.
Of the respondents, 62 % reported familiarity with the logo. The motivations for food choice that were positively associated with actually purchasing products with the logo were attention to ‘weight control’ and ‘product information’. The food choice motive ‘hedonism’ was negatively associated with purchasing products with the logo.
This is the first study to investigate actual use of the Choices logo. In order to stimulate consumers to purchase more products with a favourable product composition, extra attention should be paid to hedonistic aspects such as the tastefulness and the image of healthy products.
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