Salient beliefs among Canadian adults regarding milk and cheese consumption : a qualitative study based on the theory of planned behaviour

Authors: Lacroix, Marie-JoséeDesroches, SophieTurcotte, MylènePainchaud-Guérard, GenevièvePaquin, PaulCouture, FrançoisProvencher, Véronique
Abstract: Background: In spite of multiple efforts by public health authorities to promote consumption of milk and alternatives in the Canadian adult population, consumption of these healthy foods is still suboptimal. This study aimed to explore salient beliefs underlying the consumption of fluid milk and cheese among adults. Methods: The qualitative descriptive research design was based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour framework, using 20 focus groups. A total of 161 men and women (19 to 50 years old) from Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto (Canada) were recruited to participate in focus groups. A hybrid approach (deductive and inductive) to qualitative methods of thematic analysis was used during coding of focus group transcripts to draw out participant’s salient beliefs regarding milk and cheese consumption. Results: For both milk and cheese, most groups cited advantages or disadvantages with regards to health effects, nutritional value, taste, socio-affective aspects and practicality. Family and friends, health professionals and advisors, and communications domain (e.g. advertisements, TV programs, well-known personalities) were cited as major influences affecting consumption. Price reduction, product improvements, supply increase and variation, favourable food/drink combinations and access were among the most commonly cited facilitators for milk and cheese consumption. Major barriers included high price, reduced confidence in the product (reasons/contexts that reduce perceived safety of the product), health status, problems linked to supply (varieties/formats which are not available), and habits and cultural values. Gender and level of milk and cheese consumption differences were observed between groups: men referred more often to industry and politics as factors influencing their milk consumption, while women expressed more animal and environmental concerns. Differences were also noted between high and low consumer’s groups in relation to the themes of taste, pleasure and emotions for milk and cheese consumption. Lastly, low consumers expressed more distrust and disgust relating to milk consumption than high consumers. Conclusions: The majority of beliefs observed are consistent with earlier studies on milk or dairy product consumption. Consumers’ concerns about origins of milk, however, have never been reported. These findings will help optimize approaches for promoting consumption of these foods among different segments of Canadian adults.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 9 August 2016
Open Access Date: 9 February 2017
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: BMC Nutrition, Vol. 2 (1) (2016)
BioMed Central
Alternative version: 10.1186/s40795-016-0087-1
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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