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Blackwell Science, LtdOxford, UKJCSInternational Journal of Consumer Studies1470-6431Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 200327••••••Miscellaneous

Abstracts from key papers to be presented

at the 1st Institute of Consumer Sciences incorporating
Home Economics, International Research Conference1
Empowering the Consumer in the 21st Century, UWIC, Llandaff Centre, Cardiff

senses associated with food work, especially the sense of taste.

This involves an understanding of how the brain processes
The University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), is delighted to information coming from the senses. With this understanding,
be holding the first research conference since the formation of better methods can be developed for sensory analysis. In this
the Institute of Consumer Sciences (ICSc) incorporating Home keynote address, he will deal with some of the rights and wrongs
Economics. This professional body was formed by the amal- of sensory analysis to help delegates gain a greater understand-
gamation of the SCCS (Standing Conference in Consumer Stud- ing of sensory science and refine their methods for the better.
ies), IHEc (Institute of Home Economics) and the UKHEF (United Mr Paul Downhill is the keynote presenter for the product
Kingdom Home Economics Federation) in 2000. Before this, 19 safety theme. Paul is assistant consumer affairs manager, work-
successful and enjoyable research conferences had been held ing in the merchandise technical services and quality depart-
in the UK, the last in 1999 in Belfast. Cardiff makes a fitting return ment at Argos Distribution Limited. Argos is one of the UK’s
to the international research in consumer science scene, as it is leading non-food retailers who sell through catalogue, retail out-
21 years since it last hosted such a conference. The Institute lets and on-line. Paul, an ex-trading standards officer, will be
and UWIC are pleased to acknowledge the sponsorship of overviewing the array of legislation and consumer expectations
the Welsh Development Agency, Food and Agri-Partnership, that have to be considered when a company such as Argos is
who are sponsoring the social activities and food during the placing so many diverse products into the marketplace.
conference. The morning keynotes will be followed by a number of papers
The theme of the conference this year is ‘Empowering the (two abstracted below) with specific emphasis on the food
Consumer in the 21st Century’, with four key areas addressed: industry, with topics drawn from the three key themes from the
morning session. Included here will be a presentation by Fiona
• consumer empowerment and education;
Moore, Head Food Technician at Marks and Spencer plc. Fiona
• social marketing and consumer choice;
will speak on current trends in new product development. Our
• product safety;
other speakers, Professor Chris Griffith (head of the Wales Food
• sustainability.
Industry Centre, based at UWIC) and Mr David Lloyd (maximiz-
These four themes reflect the main areas of concern of con- ing profits in the food industry) are also key Wales Food Industry
sumers from all nations in the twenty-first century. As can be Centre researchers. The Wales Food Industry Centre is one of
seen from the following abstracts, speakers and poster present- the world’s leading centres for applied food safety research,
ers have been selected by the programme committee from all providing consultancy services and training programmes for a
parts of the British Isles and Ireland, Canada, Finland, Denmark, wide range of clients, in both the UK and overseas.
Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Kenya, South Africa, On Tuesday, there are parallel sessions concerning consumer
Botswana, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and the USA. empowerment and education, one session dealing with food,
The Monday will see Keynote speakers from the consumer the other dealing with consumers of non-food products and
empowerment and education (abstract below), social marketing services, with particular emphasis on education. An extended
and consumer choice and product safety themes. lunch break will give delegates the opportunity to attend an
Professor and sensory scientist Michael O’Mahoney from the International Journal of Consumer Studies workshop.
University of Davis, California, will present the keynote in social On Wednesday, our sustainability keynote is Mr Tom Bourne,
marketing and consumer choice. Mike is an excellent presenter, Environment Director of the WDA. This is an area of particular
in huge demand for sensory workshops and meetings. His consumer interest, given the recent findings of the Austrian
research objectives are to develop an understanding of how the Consumer Council, regarding the nutritional content of frozen vs.
1 imported (fresh) vegetables. The following parallel sessions are
A special issue of peer-reviewed papers drawn from the conference will
be published by the International Journal of Consumer Studies in March on sustainability and social marketing and consumer choice/
2004. product safety.

218 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

The conference will also host a number of posters (some being sponsored by the British Nutrition Foundation and
abstracted below) and trade exhibition stands, including attendance is by ticket only.
Blackwell Publishing, the publisher of the International Jour- The organizing committee look forward to saying Croeso i
nal of Consumer Studies and a number of key home eco- Gymru (welcome to Wales) to those delegates and presenters
nomics/consumer science texts, the ICSC and the Welsh attending the event in July.
Consumer Council. In addition, the conference neatly dove- Further details of the conference are available from
tails into the Saturday 5 July EU-funded Flair-Flow (food-
linked agro-industry research) consumer concerns ‘Safe to
eat?’ panel debate for which free tickets are available from Dr Ruth Fairchild
Sally Cockroft (E-mail: This event is Chair, organizing committee


Development of a food and health strategy for Cardiff

Bruce Whitear1, Maria Z. Morgan2 and Ruth M. Fairchild3
1 Bro Taf Health Authority, Trenewydd, Cardiff, Wales, UK
2 Public Dental Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff Wales, UK3 School of Applied Sciences, University of Wales Institute,
Cardiff, Colchester Avenue, Cardiff Wales, UK

This keynote address will cover the background to, research development, food quality, safety and hygiene, food availabil-
involved in and presentation of a Food and Health Strategy for ity, education and nutrition.
Cardiff. 5 Ensuring that the Cardiff strategy reflected the broad aims
The work involved: and objectives of already existing pertinent documents, e.g.
National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease,
1 A rapid appraisal of over 20 initiatives, which promote the
National Service Framework for Diabetes, Nutrition Strategy
availability and consumption of safe, healthy and sustainable
for Wales, Cardiff Strategy for a Healthy City, A Community
food within Cardiff.
Strategy for Cardiff, Local Sustainability Strategy for Cardiff.
2 Recommendations for membership of a food and health strat-
egy working party. The presentation will consist of key findings in terms of best
3 The preparation of a framework document as a starting point practice, evaluation of successful initiatives and intercollaborative
for the working party. working.
4 The meeting of the working party and key-stakeholders to 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

produce a final strategy for Cardiff incorporating sustainable

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 219


Will consumers accept irradiated food products?

Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr
Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-2124, USA

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 76 Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration
million people get sick, more than 300 000 are hospitalised, and are also expected to decide soon whether to allow the process
5000 Americans die each year from food-borne illness. Research to be used on sandwich meats, hot dogs, and similar packaged
over the past 40 years has shown, however, that food irradiation food products.
can decrease the incidence of food-borne illness and disease. This study examines consumer willingness to pay for irradiated
Despite this benefit, food irradiation has been the focus of much beef products. About 58% of the respondents are willing to pay
controversy for years. Proponents of irradiation claim that it will a premium for irradiated beef. An ordered probit with sample
improve food product safety by reducing harmful bacteria. Oppo- selection model was estimated. Our findings suggest that
nents, on the other hand, raise concerns about its long-term females and those who think that improper handling contributes
health effects, nutrient loss, and worker safety at irradiation facil- to food poisoning are more likely to pay a premium of 50 cents
ities. The debate intensified recently when the US government per pound of irradiated beef than others. Those who trust the
approved the use of irradiation to kill E. coli 0157:H7 and other irradiation technology are more likely to pay a premium of
harmful bacteria in ground beef and other raw meat. The US between 5 and 25 cents per pound for irradiated beef.

A comparative investigation between functional foods and

their alternatives with respect to medical claims made
Catherine Harrison and Ian Brown
School of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

This study sets out to investigate claims made by manufacturers reduced risk of a symptom or disease such as osteoporosis with
regarding the medical benefits of some functional foods. A range those foods enriched with calcium, enhancement of the digestive
of functional foods has come onto the market, providing the system by using probiotic yoghurt drinks or the treatment of
potential for customers to tailor their food choices more closely disease by introducing plant sterols to reduce LDL cholesterol
to their needs, providing they understand how to incorporate the and thus the risk of heart disease.
appropriate products into their diet. Data were collected from the nutritional information provided
Claims regarding beneficial effects include: prevention or by the manufacturers and analysed comparatively by contrasting

220 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

the functional food with their ‘everyday’ alternative, which do not that most products were over-rated with regard to price and
make any special claims. function.
Results show that in the majority of cases the actual The work concludes that whilst functional foods are now estab-
claims made by the manufacturer were not substantiated lished on the market in many cases the claims are not substan-
and actually proved misleading and deceptive. It was considered tiated and in some cases products have been withdrawn.


Adult consumer education across Europe – redressing the

market or reaching the vulnerable consumer
Maria Schuh1 and Mike Kitson2
1 EU Socrates Grundtvig 1 CEA project, Pädagogische Akademie des Bundes in Wien, Ettenreichg. 45A, A 1100 Wien, Austria
2 School of Health and Human Sciences, London Metropolitan University, 166–220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB, UK

Consumer education is an important EU and United Nations Unlike school education, adult education across Europe is
priority. In most countries’ formal education systems, it is not a fragmented with a mixture of formal education, including
single discipline in its own right, but a cross-curricular subject training for vocational qualifications, continuing and community
involving many areas of the school curriculum. Adult consumers education, and informal education, an essential contributor to
are expected to be critical and informed consumers but may not life-long learning delivered through media, women’s groups,
know how to acquire the appropriate skills. The formal school consumer groups and many other large and small organisations.
system in many countries has failed to deliver these skills and The issues have been addressed by the EU Socrates
values and adults need consumer education through both formal supported CEA (Consumer Education for Adults) project
and informal means. With increasingly varied societies consumer which has 10 partners from 7 European countries drawn
education will help to produce active socially responsible citizens from non-government organisations, teacher training and adult
and citizenship is an essential element of the delivery of consumer education institutions, universities and research institutes. The
education to adults. It is particularly important that consumer project has produced a training manual for adult consumer
education should reach the vulnerable groups in society. Increas- education, a training module, piloted in Vienna, which includes a
ing globalisation and business power necessitate ethical and handbook of teaching materials and a video, and has initiated a
sustainable business practices; an informed, educated and dialogue between consumers, consumer educators, business
empowered consumer will strengthen the market place to the and producers.
benefit of both consumers and business. 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 221

An investigative study of adult consumer education and

lifelong learning needs in the United Kingdom and Latvia
Mike Kitson1, Vija Dislere2 and Helen Harrison1
1 School of Health and Human Sciences, London Metropolitan University, 166–220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB, UK
2 Institute of Education and Home Economics, Latvia University of Agriculture, Cakstes bulv. 5, Jelgava, LV-3001, Latvia

Consumer education in Latvia is in the early stages of develop- about their consumer responsibilities. Levels of knowledge were
ment and should be seen in the context of the rapidly changing poor, leaving adults vulnerable to exploitation in the marketplace,
society in the post-Soviet era and the increasing influence of the uninformed about their responsibilities to voice dissatisfaction
marketplace, and Latvia’s position as a new accession country. about goods and services, and unaware of how their consumer
The Latvia University of Agriculture is in the process of devel- behaviour can affect the wider community.
oping an adult consumer education programme. Adult participants in Latvia thought that they lacked education
A comparative study between the UK and Latvia was designed in consumer legal rights and responsibilities and did not have the
to test the hypothesis that many adult consumers lack knowledge necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to manage con-
and understanding of their consumer rights and responsibilities. sumer problems effectively.
A sample of adults in both countries completed a consumer rights Results in both countries indicate that adult consumer educa-
questionnaire investigating attitude, knowledge and critical think- tion is needed, supplemented by a comprehensive package of
ing ability. The UK questionnaire was modified, taking into adult consumer education. Despite the cultural differences
account the different consumer environment in the two countries, between the two countries, the analysis showed that similar adult
to compare the need for adult consumer education in Latvia and consumer skills and attitudes were needed.
the United Kingdom. This joint research has shown that this methodology could be
In the United Kingdom results showed that the group overall used to determine adult consumer and life-long consumer edu-
were not confident that they knew enough about consumer rights cation needs in other European countries and internationally.
and legislation or to resolve consumer problems and were unsure 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

222 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Consumer empowerment in consumer education.

Experiences from educational and consumer studies
of youngsters
Jette Benn
The Danish University of Education, Department of Curriculum Research, Emdrupvej 101, DK 2400 Copenhagen NV

The aim of consumer education has mainly been to teach and mation and socialisation, and plays a role in the develop-
educate students to be and act as informed, rational and prudent ment of identity and self-conception.
consumers. This understanding of consumption as reasoned Formal institutional consumer enlightenment and the edu-
behaviour or action is inadequate in the late modern society, cation of students in a class stand in contradiction to infor-
where consumerism is first and foremost characterised by glo- mal consumer socialisation and the education of individuals. The
balisation, cultural change and the liberation of the individual. educational project may be described as ‘educating for critical
The results of a research study involving Danish pupils aged consumer awareness and action competence’. But consumer
12–19 present a picture where consumption is both connected education is located in the field of tension between ‘consumer-
to material and immaterial aspects of life. Consumption as ship’ and ‘citizenship’. The pilot study seeks to address and
such has a significant impact on and meaning for the single integrate consumer socialization and consumer education in
person: it becomes a way human beings communicate and order to reflect on empowerment as part of education.
interact. Consumption is part of children’s and youngsters’ for- 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Consumer education in the UK: new developments in policy,

strategy and implementation
Carol Brennan1 and Katrina Ritters2
1 School of Business and Enterprise, Queen Margaret University College, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK
2 3 Burberry Grove, Balsall Common, Coventry CV7 7RB, UK

Consumer education is an integral part of the European Com- Community levels should be more structured, in order to achieve
munity’s consumer policy. It plays a key role in consumer maximum effectiveness.
empowerment, helping consumers gain the skills, attitudes and This presentation/paper aims to set out the current policy and
knowledge they need to be able to gear the choices they make strategic context for consumer education and empowerment in
as consumers to their economic interests and to protecting their the UK; review the role of UK government bodies and other
health and safety. In its policy statement, the Directorate General agencies concerned with developments; review recent literature;
for Health and Consumer Protection states that the European present the results of interviews with an extensive range of key
Community is aware that joint measures at national and stakeholders and the results of a survey of service heads for

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 223

Trading Standards throughout the UK. It will consider implemen- addition, the teaching of citizenship in English schools is already
tation, partnership, resources, ideas and opportunities. stimulating new developments in consumer education.
The research found that the agenda for consumer education The paper will consider the need for organisations like these
in the UK is at an interesting stage of development. The Enter- to work together to build on these policy developments and
prise Act 2002 gives the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) a statutory ensure that consumer education gains the profile it needs to
power to carry out educational activities. Consumer education is influence consumer attitudes and behaviour.
also moving up the agenda in the Trading Standards Service. In 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

How to create tools to empower the consumer – the

challenges of home economics/FCS and home economics
teacher education
Kaija Turkki
Department of Home Economics and Craft Science, University of Helsinki, Finland

The aim of this presentation is to introduce some new frame- also an implementation section. Students were asked to pro-
works that have been under discussion in developing university duce their own ‘action plan’ for the next few years.
studies in the field of home economics or family and consumer The preliminary data analysis reveals that inside the discipline
sciences in Finland. The empirical data is derived from students’ and the field there are several empowerment elements, but also
contributions during their university studies in the degree pro- that they are not used as efficiently as they could be.
gram for home economics teachers at the Master’s level. The In conclusion, most students have a very realistic view of their
main data is based on students’ opinions and conceptions about studies. They can analyse them in diverse ways, and reveal
strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) important qualifications. They are aware of the various chal-
of their university discipline and field to meet the future chal- lenges that face us in both the present and future societies.
lenges. All students are at the level of advanced studies (mainly Students also see that home economics not only gives them tools
4th year), and the number of students is 34. All have some school that are relevant in present school situations, but the subject
experience as a home economics teacher and most also have includes such future potentials that can be used in directing the
some other work experience in the field of home economics, school towards the more open learning environments. Home
family and consumer sciences. economics has its place inside the education system. Both the
The research questions were: (1) How do the students see idea of ‘home economics teacher as a researcher’ and ‘home
their field according to the SWOT analysis? and (2) What economics teacher as an educator’ were seen as important aims
type of developments do they pose for the future? There was to maintain in the university degree.

224 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Who speaks for the consumer?

Elizabeth Goldsmith
Department of Textiles and Consumer Sciences, College of Human Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA

In 2002 and 2003, I was selected as a funded consumer repre- At a typical meeting, there are about 500 regulators, 1000
sentative and a member of the Board of Trustees of the industry representatives, and 13 consumer representatives. Five
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This of the 13 are selected to serve on the Board. The consumer
abstract describes the experience and what it means to representatives include professors, lawyers, economists, and
empower consumers. Although the example given is from the community activists. Being so few in number, the question arises:
US, the principles are applicable to other countries. How effective can we be? The fundamental responsibility is to
NAIC is the association of the chief insurance regulators of the represent consumers’ viewpoints, to give authority to or to voice
50 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia. As a their perspective that is the definition of empowerment. This quite
consumer representative I attend four national meetings each literally means going to the microphones at NAIC meetings, but
year to speak up on behalf of the fair and equitable treatment of it also means working behind the scenes drafting policy and
consumers. The purpose of NAIC is to improve state insurance model laws.
regulation by facilitating a degree of uniformity of regulation According to A. Coskun Samli (2001), empowering the con-
among the states (Cude, 1997). To ensure that consumers were sumer will benefit society as a whole. It will expand the economy.
heard, NAIC created its Consumer Participation Program in 1992 Serving as a consumer representative is indeed a worthwhile
(Cude, 1995). challenge, a chance to change things for the better.

Money talks – a program to improve financial literacy

of teens
Karen P. Varcoe1 and Paula Rene Fitch2
1 Consumer Economics Specialist, 139 Highlander Hall, Bldg C, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
2 Cooperative Extension Imperial County, 1050 East Holton Road, Holtville, CA 92250-9615, USA

Many researchers have studied and documented the financial people would readily use, and from which they would learn,
literacy of youth. Even more have developed educational pro- teenagers were surveyed prior to program development to deter-
grams or curricula to teach financial and consumer issues to mine the topics that were relevant to them, the educational format
youth; however, few have actually evaluated the effectiveness of that appealed to them, and when and where they preferred to
their programs. The Money Talks: Should I be Listening? curric- receive the information (Varcoe, Peterson, Garrett, Martin, Rene,
ulum, developed by a University of California Cooperative Exten- & Costello, 2001).
sion team, was created to appeal to teenagers as it increased This paper discusses the effectiveness of The Money Talks:
their financial literacy. In order to develop a program that young Should I be Listening? curriculum on the financial knowledge and

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 225

behaviour of participants using the series. The curriculum was of others. Research based curricula in personal finance seem to
designed for use as a part of school curriculum as well as for yield results. This age group has specific requirements for
presentation in other venues. method of delivery and location of the seminars suggesting that
The findings indicate that using the curriculum did improve it is important to keep the materials interactive. To address this
the financial literacy of high school students with significant issue, a web-site was added to
positive changes in both knowledge and behaviour. They have the program. Included on the web-site are interactive games and
a better understanding of the value of savings and have a video on the importance of saving. The teens are naturally more
changed behaviours. It is interesting to note that the males interested in learning about the consumer and financial issues
demonstrated a significantly greater increase in knowledge they perceive as salient in their lives at that particular time.
from pre-test to post-test than females. Perhaps the females Educators should identify topics of interest to the teens and
have more interest in or knowledge of financial issues prior to develop, or use existing, interactive methodology to present the
participation in this project? information.
Overall the results of this study are consistent with the findings 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

The way we live: understanding the acquisition of living skills

to facilitate the consumer empowerment of young people in
the 21st century
Suzanne Horne, Paul Hewer and Karen Kerr
Department of Marketing, Faculty of Management, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK

This research seeks to understand the perceived sources of to knowledge in terms of, for example aspects of food safety and
acquisition of living skills by young people and to examine the hygiene.
formal and informal channels of acquisition. The study focuses Research to date has failed to tackle the concept of acquisition
particularly on the concept of living skills. These are the skills of of the skills of transition from home to independent living. Most
transition, of growing up, and independence. For the purpose of research is focused on skills pertaining to a particular occupation
the research the skills investigated are those associated (or for- role (Newman and Newman, 1988; Blustein et al., 1989; Nurmi
merly associated) with the school subject of Home Economics et al., 1994) rather than those of living skills.
and were distilled from past curricula and documentation (DES, Respondents were asked where they had learnt most about
1985; SCP, 1971). They cover three types of skill: social/interper- manual, cognitive and social skills. To facilitate analysis the chan-
sonal, cognitive and manual. Social skills include awareness of nels were condensed to family (mother, father, other family mem-
others, and a sense of responsibility, which is the basis of child- bers), community (friends, voluntary organisations), self (trial and
care and showing tolerance of and concern and consideration for error, television, books and magazines), taught (at school, uni-
others. Cognitive skills are those associated with decision- versity and work), with a final category of ‘never learnt’ (catego-
making and management, they involve thinking, reasoning and ries adapted from Macbeth, 1989).
the use of knowledge. Manual skills are concerned with the use The findings revealed that the perceived acquisition of these
of the hands, with dexterity and with the achievement of specific living skills was through informal channels. From this research it
goals, for example the ability to use tools and appliances with can be argued that the family, being the main perceived source
emphasis on the safe handling of them. They can also be linked of acquisition of living skills creates the right time, the right place

226 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

and facilitates exchange efficiencies. However, in this over- Compounding this is the tendency of young people to have to
dependence on an informal framework it is unlikely that dis- resort to self-learning, which it could be argued is acceptable for
crepancies of skill provision can be alleviated. Additionally, some skills but not for those reliant on correct information input
standardisation may be difficult if not impossible to achieve. (such as food hygiene and nutrition).

Expenditure patterns on food and non food items of

Khayelitsha households, Western Cape, South Africa
L.L. Maliwichi1, L. Bourne2 and L. Mokoena3
1 University of Venda for Science and Technology, Department of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences, PB X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
2 Medical Research Council of South Africa, PO Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa 3 University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Food insecurity or lack of access to adequate and nutritious food as equipment and assets owned by households were only used
is a major determinant of under-nutrition. Expenditure patterns as fallback position during times of economic hardships.
accompanied by unemployment, low level of education, inflation Households used different purchasing strategies; food and
and high food prices have a direct negative impact on food non-food items were mainly purchased from outside the township
availability within households (Moller, 1997). Ghany and Schwenk (60%). Forty percent of the households bought their items from
(1993) found that as household income increases, the proportion local shops and spazas because they allowed them to buy items
of expenditures on food decreases, the proportion of expenditures whenever little money was available or to take items on credit.
on clothing, rent, fuel, and light stayed the same and that of All the respondents preferred to buy bread and small items from
sundries increased. spazas and local shops. Prices of items in the spazas and local
The aim of this study was to investigate household expenditure shops were higher compared to prices of items in bigger shops
patterns on food and non-food items in Khayelitsha. A total of 20 outside the townships.
households (10 from the formal and 10 from the informal settle- The food/hunger scale and wealth quintiles showed that infor-
ments) were randomly selected from those willing to participate mal settlement households were more food insecure (as they
in the study. A questionnaire with open ended and closed ques- were all unemployed and about 50% of the households ran out
tions was used to collect data. The questionnaire comprised four of food always) and had fewer assets compared to the formal
sections namely: biographical information, socio-economic infor- settlement households.
mation which used wealth quintiles to assess households’ social The implications of these findings underscore the need to
economic status, total expenditure information and a food/hunger improve socio-economic conditions of low resource households
scale was used to assess households’ food availability. through empowerment programs. These programs can be in the
The findings revealed that households from informal settle- form of training in management/decision making, work related
ments spent more money (62.2%) as a proportion of their income skills/literacy (to help them access formal employment), business
on food compared to households from the formal settlement management/income generation skills (to help them to be self-
(39%). There was higher unemployment rate (100%) at the infor- employed), budgeting, and food gardening. This approach can
mal settlement compared to the formal settlement (40%). Wealth help to increase the resource base and alleviate food insecurity
quintiles scales did not reflect the social status of the households in low resource households.

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 227

Participation of working women in decision-making process

as consumer
S. Bhatti and R. Srivastava
Home Economics, Tonota College of Education, Botswana

In a world where the role of women in decision-making is seldom participation and difficulty as realized by working women in the
adequately appreciated, they make a remarkable contribution decision-making process. After collecting the data, it was analy-
due to their hard work and sense of confidence. It is observed sed by employing simple statistical tests like frequency
that women are mostly involved in repetitive and monotonous percentages
household work irrespective of the fact that they share most of The important findings emanated out of the present investiga-
family responsibilities and perform a wide range of duties in and tion are as follows:
outside home. On the other hand men perform activities, which
require skills, but there is sufficient evidence, which show a clear, • Most of the respondents were middle aged, educated up to
although slow shift of stereotype sex roles. graduation level, having nuclear family, small size of family
In early societies, decision-making was predominantly done by with monthly income more than Rs.5000.00. It was also
menfolk being the breadwinner of the family. With modernization observed that majority of the respondents were in the teaching
and education women have been empowered to make the best and medical professions.
use of human and non-human resources in management of the • Working women were found to be involved more in the case
family with respect to efficient use of time and energy. So, a study of food items (79.0–93.0%) as compared to non-food items
was undertaken to know how far the working women of Faridkot (6.0–46.0%) with an exception of their major participation
district participate in the decision-making process with the follow- (78.0%) at the stage of identifying the problem in case of non-
ing objectives: food items.
(a) to find out the level of participation of working women in the • The study revealed that the time consumed at various steps
decision-making process as consumer. of consumer decision-making process is minimum for most of
(b) to find out the level of difficulty among working women at the steps in case of food items but moderate to maximum in
different steps of the decision-making process. case of non-food items. But for analysing the alternatives the
time consumed was moderate to maximum for both the
The present investigation pertaining to Faridkot district of Punjab
state of India was exploratory in nature. A sample of 100 working
• Findings also revealed that difficulty level was from moderate
women was selected by simple random sampling procedure. The to high (32.0–98.0%) in most of the steps in case of food items
responses were recorded through a well structured and pretested whereas, in case of non-food items it was from low to high
questionnaire including an index developed to measure level of (11.0–78.0%)

228 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Consumer Network Wales

Sheila Kurowska
Welsh Consumer Council

The Welsh Consumer Council launched its online interactive lively discussions have developed on subjects as diverse as IT
consumer network in July 2001 with the aim of linking up individ- and electronic communications, customer call centres, recycling,
ual consumers across the country, stimulating discussion and money-making schemes and energy saving in the home. Early
debate on consumer issues and strengthening the voice of con- in 2002, the network began to run regular online surveys on
sumers in Wales. topical consumer issues. The first survey asked about members’
By October 2002, the network had recruited 300 members. The experiences of returning goods and their knowledge of consumer
Council aims to reach a membership of 1000 by 2004. As well rights. The second asked about members’ attitudes to recycling
as individual consumers, the network has recruited 34 voluntary and reducing waste. Both surveys received a high level of
and community organisations that are committed to working with response and provided valuable and up to date information on
the Council to ensure that disadvantaged consumers without the experiences and views of consumers from all parts of Wales
home Internet access can participate in the network on these important issues.
At the heart of the network is a bilingual discussion area within The continuing expansion of the consumer network is central
the Council’s one-stop consumer information website where to the Council work in helping to foster a consumer movement in
members can post their views, comments and observations on Wales which is informed, responsible, demanding and assertive.
any consumer issue that concerns them. Over the past year,



Food deserts – an example of social exclusion?

Chris Strugnell1, Sinead Furey2 and Heather Farley1
1 School of Hotel, Leisure and Tourism, University of Ulster, N. Ireland BT37 OQB, UK
2 General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, Belfast, UK

The ‘food desert’ is a fairly recent phenomenon with emotive but deficient in Northern Ireland; hence the urgent need for this
and political overtones. It has been described as an area of study
social deprivation where people do not have easy access to This study investigated the food accessibility and ultimate
healthy and affordable food. Northern Ireland has undergone potential existence of food deserts in both rural and urban areas
a retail revolution with the arrival of the UK mainland multiples, of Northern Ireland using microstudies of four provincial towns.
the spatial restructuring of the retailing industry to edge-of- The research methodology was both intensive and extensive
town sites and the associated effects on town centre food using perceptual and experiential evidence of principal shoppers
stores. The research initiative has been considerable in Britain from 1094 Northern Ireland households. The study allowed for

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 229

the validation of results via a varied range of research tools, e.g. types and between towns while consumer focus groups qualified
case studies, focus groups, interviews, observations and an the extent of consumer disadvantage experienced by vulnerable
extensive questionnaire. consumer groups. While no town or area was assigned the label
Results indicated that certain consumer cohorts (particularly ‘food desert’ areas of low provision could be identified with wor-
the car-less and lower income consumers) were excluded from rying signs that food access was ultimately disparate and ineq-
equitable shopping provision. Evidence suggested that urban uitable. This situation is likely to worsen as the full effects of the
consumers might exist in somewhat self-imposed food deserts, retail revolution are realised. Recommendations suggest incre-
exacerbated by the fact that consumers on lower incomes mental changes to effect long-term change and an interdiscipli-
shopped locally and more frequently than their higher income nary approach is foreseen as the optimal way to address the
counterparts. Low-income family units also exhibited lower levels problem. Control of retail developments is seen as essential in
of cooking skills, and therefore tended to purchase convenience town planning together with the control of retail monopolies in
foods from higher priced local retail outlets. Shopping basket such areas.
analyses revealed the price disparities that existed within store 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Lone parents, food choice and empowerment

Mark Meadows
Liverpool John Moores University, I. M. Marsh Campus, Barkhill Road, Aigbuth, Liverpool L17 6BD, UK

An extensive body of evidence exists linking low income, poor upon such perceptions. If diet is not perceived to be nutritionally
diet and poor health (Graham, 1993; Dowler and Calvert, 1995; inadequate it may be the case that those whom initiatives would
Parker, 1998). In response to this the UK government has long hope to influence do not feel the need to become involved.
claimed the reason for such inequalities is not because of income Using a mixed methodology, evidence is provided from a
per se, but is underpinned by lack of knowledge and skills and cohort of lone parents that suggests a confusion may exist
as such has focused much attention on the role of small scale between what constitutes a balanced diet as opposed to a
community based educational initiatives. These initiatives how- healthy diet, or indeed a good diet as opposed to a bad diet.
ever, can only be successful if those whom they are targeted at Evidence further demonstrates that many of the food choice
are motivated to become involved. To achieve change it has to decisions made by lone parents are linked to evaluations of the
be recognised that change is possible, but perhaps more impor- quality of parenting they provide. As such, choices are made
tantly, that change is needed. subject to social norms yet lack of self-efficacy prevents many
Previous research has produced quantifiable evidence as to lone parents from challenging societal prescriptions. The paper
the quality of diet and it has also produced qualitative support of concludes that knowledge alone may not be enough to facilitate
the difficulties faced by low income groups in attaining diet quality, an improvement in diet quality for this group and that this may
but in many cases has not necessarily described the perception only be achieved if knowledge and empowerment are addressed
of diet quality amongst low income groups, and the influences simultaneously.

230 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Value conflicts in food ethics – causes and

possible resolutions
M.J.A. Schröder1 and M.G. McEachern2
1 Faculty of Business and Arts, Queen Margaret University College, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK
2 School of Management, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK

Ethical attitudes in relation to meat purchases were studied be widely available as a complete carcass, but portions often are
among urban and rural consumers in Scotland. All subjects per- not. Attitude-inconsistent purchasing behaviours were thereby
ceived at least some ethical issues in relation to animal produc- related to a lack of perceived control on the part of the purchaser
tion systems, in particular, systems keeping animals in close in certain food choice scenarios.
confinement. Welfare friendly production systems were viewed A key finding of the study is that individuals can hold two views
as adding value to a food, but this value was not necessarily on animal welfare. On the one hand, they may think as citizens
realisable to producers if purchases occurred only when foods influencing societal standards, and on the other, as consumers
were on special offer. Statements made by a particular individual at the point of purchase. As citizens, they support the notion of
were often contradictory, revealing ambivalence, unresolved animals being entitled to a good life, as meat consumers, they
value conflicts and a general lack of involvement in the nature of avoid the mental connection with the live animal. The paper
meat production. A number of barriers to the establishment of explores this citizen/consumer relationship and strategies used
stable attitudes and behaviours in relation to the ethical treatment by consumers to resolve any resultant value conflicts. Lessons
of food animals were identified, including a lack of transparency for public and commercial policy are highlighted in the context of
of competing production systems, problems with product avail- the Curry Report (2002), which advocates more effective market
ability and a general aversion to confront animal production. segmentation where markets are finely attuned to their custom-
Whilst adequate labelling implies that labels are transparent and ers, with the development of higher-level assurance schemes
revealing all the essential features of a food, this is not the case based on the existing ‘Little Red Tractor’ standard.
with most farm assurance quality marks. Free-range chicken may 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Risk management behaviour by the Northern Ireland

food consumer
Roy Nelson
Loughry College, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland BT80 9AA, UK

The main criteria that consumers use during the decision 10 years risk has become a ‘new’ criterion that can affect the
making process when purchasing food has traditionally been a consumer’s decision whether or not to purchase a particular food
combination of prices, incomes, taste and social attitudes, with item. The effect of the increased awareness of risk has been
price being seen as the main determinant. However in the past observed during the numerous food scares in the last decade

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 231

and in trends for the demand for foods that connote a healthy Although these factors cannot be used as predictors of the risk
image. associated with a particular food, they help to describe and
This research, carried out in Northern Ireland, looked at how explain how the risk may be managed. The relationship between
consumers quantified and managed risk. The research involved two of the factors, involvement and fear, provides a framework
202 primary food consumers and identified the factors that were for understanding the way consumers manage their perception
perceived to be important from both a societal and a personal of the risk, particularly of high-risk items. Consumer and scientific
perspective. knowledge of the risk in question, and the degree of control over
Using principal component and cluster analysis societal food the risk were seen as important. The conceptualisation of the
risks were seen as either processing or dietary and personal food mechanism by which risks are processed and acted upon pro-
risks were seen as either extrinsic or intrinsic. Further investiga- vides information regarding risk management and communica-
tion into the attributes of the personal risk revealed a three-factor tion strategies that should be employed by educators, food
solution described as fear, involvement and newness. retailers and government policy makers.

Social marketing and consumers’ experience of lipophobia

Søren Askegaard
SDU Odense University, Denmark

Modern societies are lipophobic: they express a deep anxiety mants as well as a set of interviews with selected medical and
about fat and fatness. On the other hand, the public discourses political experts and representatives of consumer groups.
about health and well being, though biased towards lipophobia, The results provide a culturally rooted image of consumers’ fat
are far from unanimous. The general question is how consum- intake and dietary practices as well as an attempt to de-
ers experience and negotiate contradictory messages of hedo- stigmatise consumers’ body imagery, informing future food poli-
nism and ascetics from commercial and governmental agents? cies and the food industry’s satisfaction of public and private
This study more specifically examines the hypothesis that the interests in consumers’ dietary patterns. This ends up in a cri-
governmental campaigns and official messages mediated tique of a certain approach to social marketing in the food
through TV, newspapers and other media are largely failing domain. Rather than focusing on informational campaigns
their target, since they tend to have the biggest impact on peo- spreading messages that are already known to most people,
ple, that do not have a serious weight problem, but who never- more efforts should be put into the basic build-up of a better
theless perceive themselves to be overweight. This is general food culture – one that stresses quality over quantity and
investigated through an adapted use of the Zaltman Metaphor which is lipo-conscious rather than lipophobic.
Elicitation Technique approach with 20 younger female infor- 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

232 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Involving consumers in peer-facilitated home-based food

hygiene training
L. Stevenson and M. Duval
Consumer Studies Programme, Liverpool John Moores University, I. M. Marsh Campus, Barkhill Road, Liverpool L17 6BD, UK

A community-based food hygiene initiative was piloted in the Facilitators and householders received incentives for their
Toxteth–Granby area of Liverpool between December 2001 and involvement in the project.
March 2002. The project aimed to increase awareness and Analysis of the data collected showed that general awareness
behaviour, related to poor food purchase, storage and handling of a range of food hygiene issues was high (such as hand
practices, by actively involving members of the local commu- washing before handling food), and most participants (73.8%)
nity in home-based peer-facilitated training. were able to recognise the main symptoms of food borne dis-
Facilitators (23) were actively recruited from within the Toxteth– ease. As a result of the home-based hygiene training there were
Granby community, and undertook a 4-day induction and training significant changes in knowledge, attitudes, and food handling
programme, which included successful completion of the CIEH practices, including the use of refrigerators, purchase of chilled
Basic Food Hygiene course. Facilitators subsequently recruited and frozen foods, washing or peeling of fruits and vegetables,
and visited nearly 1000 households (992) within the Toxteth– and the cooking of meat-based products.
Granby electoral ward, undertook an observation sheet, a The project demonstrates that it is possible for communities to
detailed questionnaire, and spent approximately 1 hour deliver- improve their food hygiene awareness and food handling behav-
ing food hygiene training. Facilitators returned to all households iours through home-based peer-facilitated training programmes,
within an 8-week period, and completed further observation with minimal input from professionals.
sheets and questionnaires, for use in a comparative analysis. 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Consumers’ attitudes, knowledge, self-reported and actual

hand washing behaviour: a challenge for designers of
intervention materials
D.A. Clayton1, C.J. Griffith1 and P. Price2
1 Food Safety Research Group, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Colchester Avenue, Cardiff CF23 9XR, UK
2 Wound Healing Research Unit, University of Wales College of Medicine, Unit 1 Cardiff Medicentre, Cardiff CF4 4UJ, UK

Cross contamination by microbial pathogens in the kitchen envi- in preventing the spread of disease. However, educational cam-
ronment may play an important role in many cases of food borne paigns such as distribution of information leaflets, workshops,
illnesses. Hand washing has been shown to be one of the most performance feedback and lectures have been, at best, associ-
important factors in controlling the spread of microorganisms and ated with a transient improvement in compliance rates. In addi-

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 233

tion, the majority of research investigating UK consumers’ food All the participants were knowledgeable about hand washing
safety behaviour has examined self-reported as opposed to techniques, intended to wash their hands and generally had
actual hand washing behaviour. positive attitudes towards the importance of washing their hands.
This research utilises psychological theory in an attempt to However, none of the participants adequately washed their hands
understand how one might design a more effective hand washing on all appropriate occasions. The attitude statement results sug-
campaign. Social cognition models were utilised to explore the gest measures of perceived behavioural control, perceived bar-
relationship between consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, self- riers and perceived risk may provide developers of food safety
reported and actual hand washing behaviour. The research was intervention materials with more useful information compared
conducted in two stages. Firstly, salient beliefs of 100 consumers with measures of consumers’ knowledge or intention. Issues of
towards food safety were obtained using open-ended questions. habit and optimistic bias also need to be given consideration
Secondly, the food handling practices of 40 consumers were when designing intervention materials to change hand washing
observed and their food safety attitudes and knowledge deter- behaviour of consumers.
mined using structured questionnaires. 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

The golden age of protein: initial teacher trainee’s

perception of food and eating
Liz Lakin
University of Gloucestershire, UK

We make use of proteins in all aspects of our daily lives from to the relationship between food and the circumstances in which
soft-centred sweets to biological washing powders, yet we it is eaten.
often misunderstand their fundamental role in our diet. The relationship between dietary intake and exercise/
This paper will draw on the findings of a three-phase research circumstance is explored in secondary schools within food tech-
project into initial teacher trainee’s perception of food and eating. nology lessons. Often, however, it is too late to rectify the deeply
Trainees demonstrated several similar misconceptions about the entrenched misconceptions, attitudes and eating habits that
food they eat and in particular, the role of proteins. Examples school children have developed in their primary years. This paper
included the role of proteins as an energy source, the relationship makes the firm recommendation that we should reconsider the
between proteins, amino acids and nitrogen and the role of DNA dietary messages we are sending out either directly or indirectly,
in synthesising proteins. These misconceptions were often trans- to children. It emphasises the need to relate teaching and learn-
lated into practice in the diet the trainees consumed and the ing to everyday experiences. The paper concludes by suggesting
messages they passed on, with confidence, to their pupils. In possible strategies by which this may be achieved, with the
addition to the misconceptions, teaching approaches used by the protein featuring centre-stage.
trainees were highly mechanistic, with little reference being given 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

234 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Combating deceptive advertisements and labelling on

food products – an exploratory study on the perceptions
of teachers
Wai-ling Theresa Lai Yeung
Department of Information and Applied Technology, Home Economics Section, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, D3-1/F-01, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai
Po, NT, Hong Kong

People are becoming more health conscious nowadays, but most This study attempts to reflect critically on the implications of
of them are not able to adopt a lifestyle with adequate physical these issues for the health and well-being of young people in
exercise and a healthier eating pattern. Many attempt to com- Hong Kong. It explores directions for designing relevant and
pensate by taking ‘health foods’. Despite the recent economic effective education programmes to empower young people in
recession, the functional food market expands rapidly in Asian understanding food advertising strategies and making informed
countries. Recent statistics indicate a huge increase in weight decisions on food choice. The paper will begin with a critical
loss and functional food product advertising expenditure in Hong review on the current situation in Hong Kong. An interview survey
Kong and other Asian countries. In a massive survey conducted on preservice and in-service teachers’ perception towards mis-
by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, it was found that 85% of leading food advertising and labelling will then be reported. The
the medicines, health food and therapies sampled contain ques- situations at schools will be defined and problems faced by teach-
tionable claims and misleading messages (Consumer Council, ers in providing relevant consumer education programmes to
1999). In fact, young people do not understand much about students will be identified. Finally, the study will look to the future,
modern food processing, in particular those present in low energy with a view to developing students’ critical skills in evaluating
and functional foods, and they know very little about the modern claims offered in food advertisements.
food marketing strategies. The situation is detrimental to con- 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

sumer welfare especially to the younger generation.

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 235

Schoolchildren’s abilities to frame, understand and

successfully manipulate food label information: enabling
consumer choice through education
Stephen A. Stuart, Monika J.A. Schröder and John A. Bower
Queen Margaret University College, Corstorphine Campus, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH 12 8TS, UK

At a time when the major dialogue in food labelling is directed changes in the abilities to frame, comprehend and manipulate
towards the volume and type of information presented, it is impor- label information, of 19 schoolchildren at one secondary school
tant to understand whether adolescents leaving education have in Scotland. The main research, to be conducted in 2003, will
the abilities to comprehend and use the current label as they include over a thousand children from another seven Scottish
represent the next generation of consumers. schools.
Legislation has been created to protect consumers and to Statistical analysis indicates that there is a significant improve-
enable them to make informed food choices. Food labels carry a ment in the dimensions of both maths and English comprehen-
significant volume of mandatory and voluntary information, sion between levels S1 and S5, whilst the health and nutrition
designed to fulfil a variety of commercial and consumer functions. dimension does not show such significance.
For these laws to be effective at an individual level, it is important Each dimension has been measured against attitudes towards
that information is framed correctly, and that people can manip- the use of labels in shopping and cooking to determine if the
ulate the data in an accurate and meaningful manner. differences between those who use labels and those who do not
In order to optimise food label information consumers require are significant
some competence across three different conceptual dimen- The research also proposes a new method of presenting nutri-
sions: maths, English comprehension, and health and nutrition. tion information to make it more meaningful to individuals across
Most individuals acquire such skills at school. a wide spectrum of competence by reducing the number of
The pilot research that this paper describes investigates conceptual components required to comprehend it.

236 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd


Can we learn to live differently? Lessons from

‘Going for Green’
Andrea J. Collins
BRASS, 54 Park Place, Cardiff University, UK

Participation at the local level is an important factor in determin- Sustainable Communities Project in two comparative geograph-
ing the success of programmes developed to achieve sustainable ical communities in Merthyr Tydfil (South Wales). Research find-
development. This paper is concerned with debates over the role ings from this study have demonstrated that the case study was
of the individual citizen in relation to that participatory process. invaluable in terms of understanding the participatory process
In particular, it focuses on the UK government’s citizens’ environ- and experiences of a broad range of community stakeholders.
mental initiative ‘Going for Green’. Through this initiative a five- Promoting a single model of participation was found to restrict
point Green Code was developed to assist in the delivering the participatory process in terms of who was encouraged to
of its sustainable development message. The initiative’s overall participate, the scope of their participation, and those outcomes
approach to participation was based on an assumption that the that could be achieved. This paper concludes that if significant
primary barrier to translating environmental concern into local progress is to be made in relation to achieving sustainable devel-
action was a lack of information, and individuals would respond opment, the role of individual citizens needs to be extended
to messages in a similar way. beyond that of a consumer of the environment, and also include
As a research strategy, the case study was used to evaluate active participation in a process that is based on collective action.
methods and processes used to implement the initiative’s pilot 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Sustainable consumption
S. Kurowska
Welsh Consumer Council, UK

Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing the world needs? Would consumers understand the issue better if we used
today, and yet many consumers are confused about what the the phrase ‘responsible consumption’?
term means. The question of how to create and maintain a The Welsh Consumer Council is working on a number of
sustainable lifestyle is a complicated one. How can we live in a projects that look at different aspects of sustainable develop-
way that meets the needs of the present generation without ment. Wales has one of the only governments in the world with
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own a statutory duty to promote sustainable development, and yet

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 237

patterns of consumption are spiralling out of control. If every- Development in Johannesburg in August 2002. It will provide an
one in the world lived like consumers in Wales, we would need overview of current consumption patterns and will identify some
nearly two extra planets to sustain ourselves. In the fields of of the main factors inhibiting people in Wales from making more
energy, food, waste, water, and travel, we are using up far sustainable consumer choices. It will examine the popular image
more resources than can be replenished. of sustainability, and will also identify what drivers are in place to
This paper will examine the progress of sustainable develop- encourage sustainable consumption.
ment in Wales in the wake of the World Summit on Sustainable 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Consumption structure and atmospheric pollution in Spain:

towards a higher sustainability
Rosa Duarte1 and Vicent Alcántara2
1 Dept. Análisis Económico, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
2 Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain

The aim of this paper is to analyse the responsibility of Spanish eration of these types of pollution, we estimate the effect that a
demand composition (particularly private and public consump- change in final consumption will have on the global level of
tion) in the actual levels of atmospheric pollution in Spain. To that pollution. As a consequence, we can evaluate the effectiveness
end, and on the basis of an input–output model, we set out to of different demand policies when seeking to control this global
identify the environmental pollution generated both directly and pollution. These policies, directed mainly towards a change in
indirectly by the economic sectors in order to obtain a determined private and public consumption, can hopefully contribute towards
final demand. We focus on three atmospheric pollutants, namely the objective of achieving sustainable development.
SOx, NOx and CO2. After identifying the key sectors in the gen- 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

238 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Home hygiene, habits and sustainability in a

theoretical framework
P.M.J. Terpstra
Wageningen University Department Consumer Technology & Product Use, PO Box 8060, 6700 DA Wageningen, The Netherlands

The number of intestinal infections that are acquired in the both soil and germs. When objects and surfaces were perceiv-
domestic environment is substantial; for The Netherlands 2 ably clean this implied also that they were clean from a hygienic
million infections per year are estimated. Some of these point of view. In the last decades this picture has changed sub-
infections are caused by the consumption of contaminated stantially. Visually clean does not imply any longer that the level
food. But others are caused by other sources like contami- of hygiene is adequate. Several social changes and technological
nated surfaces and objects in the living environment, pets measures meant to achieve a sustainable society appear to be
and contaminated air. According to present insights this sec- responsible for this phenomenon. The results of various
ond group of infections might even be bigger then the nutri- researches including a recent study on European level into this
tional part. So it is evident that soil and dirt in a living relationship support this statement.
environment pose a health risk for the people involved. In the paper the impact of past social and technological
Domestic cleaning is a proper means to raise the level of changes on home hygiene and the nature of the relation between
hygiene in the home. Efficient cleaning processes do not only cleanliness and hygiene in the domestic setting will be elabo-
remove visible soil and stains but remove micro organisms also rated. In addition it will be discussed what implications this
in an effective way. Therefore the hidden target of cleaning is the change can have for the members of the household, and how a
elimination of germs from the living environment. household has to deal with it.
Traditional cleaning processes were highly efficient in removing 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 239

Consumer science: a science for sustainability

Anne Sibbel
Consumer Science, Department of Food Science, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3001

Consumers are essentially decision-makers, with a strong influ- relevant solutions to the complex problems associated with
ence in the product chain. Establishing sustainable global traditional consumption patterns are only now being slowly
resource systems, across developed and developing nations, is overcome.
dependent on finding ways to encourage consumers to prioritise Due to its interdisciplinary and integrated nature, consumer
environmental issues as one of the key determinants of their science provides a theoretical platform from which to formulate
consumption decisions. More than this, all stakeholders in the the core questions, articulated within a framework in which all
product chain must become aware of their impacts on the psy- stakeholders can contribute in synergistic ways to reverse the
chological, social, cultural, physical and economic environments escalating rates of resource depletion, disparities of resources
that predispose consumers to certain approaches when making between groups, loss of species and pervasive pollution. There
consumption decisions. is no other discipline which offers an encompassing and inte-
Conventional science has not provided the solutions for several grated framework for the responsible communication of science
reasons. Pure science and technology have developed according necessary to describe the problems. Most importantly, consumer
to different agendas and interests. Science has generally not science has the capacity to research and interpret individual and
been communicated in ways that allow consumers to make day- social behaviour in ways which lead to innovative and effective
to-day decisions, fully informed of the implications. The barriers controls to improve and sustain new standards for living on this
to genuine interdisciplinary research required to generate socially vulnerable plant.

240 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd


Safe for whom? The tangled web of patient medication

N.J. Gould
Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, School of Care Sciences, Glyntaf Campus, University of Glamorgan, Treforest CF37 1DL, UK

Product safety is related to consumer/user competence. Phar- then explored with reference to the pharmaceutical industry
maceutical products usually have high associated risks that can and health and social care providers. These local and global
be compounded by irregular consumption practices. Of particular considerations give rise to a discussion of the applicability of
concern are older people who, due to a variety of reasons, cannot existing theoretical approaches to the problem of ensuring the
comply with pharmacy instructions. Medication compliance for timely and accurate administration of medication for vulnerable
this group often depends on co-ordinating the efforts of formal older people. In formulating the specifications of service re-
and informal carers. Failure to co-ordinate can lead to both seri- design using complexity and network theories, the continued
ous medical consequences and litigation against carers. relevance of traditional (e.g. 4Ps/7Ps) and current (e.g. rela-
Based on the experiences of an action research project, the tionship) marketing paradigms is demonstrated. In conclusion,
paper initially details the substantive issues within a product/ the paper highlights the need to balance risks, rights and
service-delivery framework. The roles of agents and surrogate responsibilities in cases where strict forms of empowerment
shoppers are noted. The wider regulatory and legal context is are inappropriate.

How do patients make use of health-related information from

the Internet? Investigating the views of the public and
healthcare professionals
Gina Dolan
Research Unit, School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan CF37 1DL, UK

Patients’ use of health-related information from the Internet is patients to make sense of health information from the Internet;
increasing at an exponential rate. Although we have some infor- however, they may not necessarily welcome this role (Wilson,
mation about how health professionals use the Internet (Roscoe, 1999; Eberhart-Phillips et al., 2000). This study aims to evaluate
1998; Wilson, 1999) we know little about how patients utilise this patient use of such information in primary care and to establish
information. Some patients may actively seek information to how this can be directed in the future.
assume more responsibility for their health. However, others may 851 adult patients from general practice were surveyed about
feel forced into doing so because of failing confidence in health the health information they use, including the Internet. 50 patients
care provision. Health professionals have the potential to assist from the survey were then randomly selected for interview.

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 241

12 health care professionals were also interviewed about The majority of patients rely on their doctor for health informa-
how patients use the Internet and the impact this has on tion. However, many patients actively use the Internet as an
consultations. information source. The use of Internet information during con-
The majority of patients (80%) prefer to use their GP as a sultations is on the increase, and although patients are positive
source of health information. The remaining sources of informa- about such use, doctors do not necessarily welcome Internet
tion received significantly lower ratings. However, the Internet informed patients. It is now necessary to identify the training
was the second most preferred source of information (7%). needs of health care professionals for dealing appropriately with
Of those using the Internet about two thirds felt more prepared Internet informed patients.
and able to participate in decision-making about treatments. 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Factors influencing the search for information about

genetically modified food products
M.J. Kolodinsky and T.R. Narsana
University of Vermont, 202 Morrill Hall, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

A recent application of biotechnology to food is genetic modifica- search, we analyse consumers’ information search patterns
tion. Genetically modified (GM) plants, animals and processed about GM products. Specifically, we estimate the probability that
foods have been introduced to the international marketplace in consumers search for information actively, passively or do not
the 1990s. As scientific and technological progress in modern search for information at all, and the factors influencing this
biotechnology continues at a breakthrough pace, the consumers search.
are presented with different types and levels of information that An ordered probit model is formulated to measure the factors,
is potentially relevant for making choices. both economic and behavioural, that influence in-formation
Findings from studies of consumer attitudes and awareness search by consumers for GM products. Variables representing
towards GM products have varied greatly. Many studies, how- the informational attitudes and behaviour related to GM products
ever, have indicated that public opinions about GM products are have the greatest impact on the probability of searching for infor-
not fully formed and the task of informing the public is far from mation about GM products. With the exception of age, demo-
over. This study expands on previous research by examining the graphic factors are not significant. The results point to information
factors that influence the search for information about GM prod- search, not, for the genetically modified characteristic, but
ucts. Utilizing the theory of consumer behaviour and information instead for the absence of the characteristic.

242 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Use of persuasive techniques on Internet shopping sites

Anita Subramaniam
Montclair State University

Huge strides in technological development combined with mar- sumer attention, meet their economic and emotional shopping
keting strategies have led to dramatic changes in the way infor- needs, to create a positive image of the product, brand, and the
mation is transmitted and communicated to the consumers, and shopping medium, and influence consumers to purchase the
subsequently used by the consumers. Information has become product. Persuasion may be classified as functional congruity
a dominant factor in determining why, where, what, and how and self-congruity routes to persuasion (Johar & Sirgy, 1991).
consumers shop, process information, and make decisions. Fifty websites were studied for utilitarian and value-expressive
While marketing information has always been an important factor forms of persuasion by product differentiation. The websites were
in consumer decision-making, its provision on demand and classified as those selling tangible products only and those sell-
added convenience via the Internet has created a need to ing intangible products only, and those selling both tangible and
research the nature and amount of information that these tech- intangible products. The paper will present results of the study
nologies provide. along with a discussion and conclusion with implications on con-
Advertisements use different forms of persuasion to gain con- sumer well-being.

Adolescents as consumers of restricted media content:

empowering adults as mediators
Sonya Thompson
University of Alberta, Canada

Children and youth are a dominant consumer force in the media explicit media content, what they think is appropriate viewing for
marketplace and restricted media content is part of the near themselves.
environment of many adolescents, both at home and in their The media environment of adolescents is continually changing
communities. Yet, little attention has been paid to adolescents as with the proliferation of new technologies, and restricted content
consumers of film, video, DVD, Internet, video games, pay per is pervasively and aggressively marketed to adolescents. Market
view, satellite and digital cable television content that has been forces, government regulation, parental guidance, and media in
deemed ‘adult’ or restricted content by government and industry its social context determine what children are exposed to. This
regulators. Using a human ecology framework, this research research investigates the interaction between these forces and
assess what types of restricted media content 13 and 14 years their outcomes for adolescents in the province of Alberta, Can-
olds are exposed to at home and in the community, how they ada. Adolescents in Alberta have the highest rates of film, video,
come to have access to different types of restricted material, how and DVD viewing in Canada, as well as the highest saturation of
they regulate their own consumption of sexually and violently Internet in homes. Alberta’s system of film classification (age

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 243

restrictions on film, video, and DVD) is similar to that of most Information about Alberta adolescents’ consumption of restricted
EU countries, providing a context for international comparison. media content and how they gain access to it will ultimately affect
Findings from this research are critical to policy makers, reg- children and youth by informing the societal forces which govern
ulatory bodies, media producers, educators, and parents in their media use.
establishing practices to protect and educate young consumers. 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Labels and hangtags: tool for consumer empowerment

and education
Usha Chowdhary
Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, 205 Wightman, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859, USA

Advertisers use social marketing to inform and convince consum- tabulated and examined for compliance with federal regulations
ers of the available products. The most casual apparel like jeans as well as additional information provided to convince the con-
also comes in several brands ranging from designer names with sumer of the products’ authenticity and performance for the
status appeal to economical choices. Labels and hangtags serve intended use.
as the first connection between the consumers and the apparel The findings revealed that labels and hangtags had useful
product. They address both intrinsic and extrinsic traits. Consum- information for persuading the consumer of the longevity of the
ers use labels for social identification, information acquisition and company and authenticity of the product. The analysed jeans
care instructions. The threefold purpose of the reported study varied for price, style, and weight to meet the satisfaction of a
was (1) to determine the compliance of the information on the broad spectrum of consumers who could be price conscious,
labels of men’s jeans with the federal requirements of permanent status-driven, and/or just information-seekers. The results sup-
care labelling; (2) to examine the content and significance of port the role of social marketing in reaching a variety of consum-
information on the hangtags; and (3) to determine if the weight/ ers by offering choices. This work can be further extended to
unit of the men’s jeans varied across various brands used for the determine the impact of labels and hangtags on decision-making
study. across various consumer markets for jeans as well as other
A content analysis of the information on the labels and hang- apparel categories.
tags of 26 men’s jeans was conducted. The information was 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

244 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd


Consumer attitudes and acceptance of genetically modified

organisms in Korea
Hyochung Kim1 and Meera Kim2
1 Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Inje University, 607 Obang-dong, Kimhae-city, Kyungnam, Korea, 621-749
2 Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuk-dong, Puk-gu, Daegu, Korea, 702-701

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were first used to des- by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Frequencies and
ignate micro organisms that had had genes from other species chi-square tests were conducted by SPSS. The results of the
transferred into their genetic material by the then-new techniques survey were as follows. First, the consumer concerns about
of ‘gene-splicing.’ Cultivation of GMOs has so far been most GMOs were high but recognition was low; many respondents
widespread in the production of soybeans and maize. The United answered they did not have exact information about GMOs,
States holds almost three-fourths of the total crop area devoted although they had heard about them. Second, almost 93% of the
to GMOs. Because many crops have been imported from the US, respondents desired the labelling of GMOs. Third, the level of
there is a large possibility for consumers to intake the products acceptance of GMOs was high; two-thirds of the respondents
of GMOs in Korea. The safety of GMOs is not scientifically settled showed that they were willing to buy GMOs. Finally, many
at this time, however. Additionally, the research regarding the respondents worried about the safety of GMOs in that 73% of
GMOs issue of consumers has rarely been conducted in Korea. the respondents primarily wanted to be informed about safety of
This study therefore focused on the consumer attitudes about GMOs. This study suggests that the consumer education about
GMOs and willingness to purchase them. The data were col- GMOs should be conducted through mass media and consumer
lected from 506 adults living in Seoul, Daegu and Busan, Korea, protection organisations.

Consumers’ awareness and information need about food

hygiene in Korea: focused on pesticide residues and food
borne illness
Meera Kim1 and Hyochung Kim2
1 Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuk-dong, Puk-gu, Daegu, Korea 702-701
2 Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Inje University, 607 Obang-dong, Kimhae-city, Kyungnam, Korea 621-749

This study investigated consumers’ awareness and information administered questionnaire. Frequency and chi-square tests
need about food hygiene especially focused on pesticide resi- were conducted by SPSS. The results of the survey were as
dues and food borne illness in Korea. The data were collected follows: Firstly the consumers’ concerns about food hygiene were
from 350 adults living in Daegu and Busan, Korea by a self- high. About three-fourths of the respondents answered that they

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 245

were ‘somewhat’ or ‘highly’ concerned about pesticide residues to the extreme and about two-thirds answered that un-fresh or
and food borne illness. Especially women and the older showed contaminated food stuffs were the major factor of food borne
more concerns than men and the younger. Secondly, the respon- illness in cooking. Finally, the respondents primarily wanted to
dents worried about eating vegetables, fruits and grains in turn get the information about harmfulness of pesticide residues in
because of pesticide residues, and did not trust the results from foods, and methods to choose fresh food regarding food borne
food hygiene tests by the Government. Thirdly, three-fourths of illness. Under the situation of the lack of educational programs
the respondents used the way to wash food stuffs with water for food hygiene in Korea, the educational contents for food
several times to clean pesticide residues. Fourth, about four-fifths hygiene to improve public health can be developed on the basis
of the subjects worried about food borne illness caused by fish of this study.

Perceived consumer competence of college students:

a qualitative exploratory study
Marie L. Lachance
Sciences de la consommation, Université Laval, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4

Considering the large sums of money young people spend on the Quebec City area through personal contacts with academic
goods and services and the huge importance marketers grant to members. They participated in semistructured interviews during
them, it is easy to agree on the very important role they play in the months of November and December 2001. During the dis-
today’s consumer society. Autonomous role enactment involves cussions, they expressed their perceptions of the skills necessary
the attainment of a certain level of performance which implies for being an educated consumer, their own level of competence
certain socially desirable behaviours. However, studies about in this area, the general level of competence of people of their
consumer skills are rather sparse. Consequently, we do not know age and that of older adults. They identified the most significant
if young people present the necessary abilities to make educated agents in their consumer socialisation and detailed the nature
choices, protecting their own interests and exerting their respon- and content of these influences. This information implements
sibilities as citizens in the community and by this, contributing to research in consumer behaviour from a non-commercial per-
balancing the market forces. The data presented are an extract spective and has helped to plan the quantitative stage of the
from the qualitative part of a larger study about the consumer study which is presently under way. The study is financed by the
skills of French Canadian college students. Thirteen students, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
aged from 18 to 22 years old, were recruited in three colleges of 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

246 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Developing the conceptual framework of consumer sciences

in higher education in the UK
Sue Bailey
Department of Health and Human Sciences, London Metropolitan University, 166–220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB, UK

Recent subject benchmarking statements by the Quality Assur- course structures. During the last five years developments and
ance Agency for Higher Education (2002) have included the change in both the subject area and courses has made it increas-
subject of consumer sciences at bachelor’s level. This is signifi- ingly necessary to explore the boundaries and development of
cant in that part of the aim of subject benchmark statements is degree level courses in the subject area in the United Kingdom.
to describe the nature and characteristics of specific degree level Research is therefore being undertaken to investigate the
subject areas and to identify the ‘typical substantive core’. existence of a unique body of knowledge that currently defines
Consumer science/studies have therefore been defined as: the subject field, given its inter and multidisciplinary focus.
‘interdisciplinary subjects which seek to understand the relation- This research has also aimed to track the changes and devel-
ships between the consumer and the economic, technical, social opments in courses and to map the forms of knowledge within
and environmental forces which influence the development and the subject field between higher education institutions. This has
consumption of goods and services’ (QAA, 2002). been undertaken by comparing original studies of degree content
If we are seeking, therefore, to encourage empowered con- areas, interviews and surveys of core academic staff and under-
sumers, we need to have an understanding of how the context taking a recent follow up of this work. The results of this research
of consumption and consumerism is positioned within current will be available for presentation at the conference.

An investigation into breakfast clubs and their potential to

improve diets of primary school children
Gemma Lee and Ian Brown
School of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

The diets of school children have been a major cause for concern school meals, however, not enough has been done to eradicate
for a considerable time. There is a whole host of evidence to these problems in schools.
suggest that inadequate dieting beginning in childhood is a major This research looks into one particular provision – breakfast
underlying cause of ill health in later life. The link between diet clubs for primary school children. Research suggests that a large
and disease is now well established, as is the need to improve proportion of school children are missing out on this vital meal
the health of the nation. A number of issues have been raised in and the opportunity to gain a substantial proportion of the essen-
recent years including the need for nutritional standards for tial daily nutrients required for adequate growth and develop-

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 247

ment. Breakfast clubs are intended to provide children with the dren, one already attending a breakfast Club and one not. Com-
opportunity to receive a nutritious breakfast at the beginning of parisons were made between the two groups to see which was
the day. providing children with the most nutritious start to the day via a
The objective of the work was to investigate breakfast clubs series of food diaries. It was concluded that the breakfast clubs
and establish how they could help to overcome some of the provide children with higher intakes of all the nutrients surveyed
problems associated with poor nutrition in school children. An and made a significant contribution towards improving the diets
investigation was carried out using two samples of school chil- of the primary school children.

The pot snack market – are today’s consumers demanding

health as well as convenience?
Fiona McCullough1, Sian Jones2 and Daniella Vignali2
1 University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire LE12 5RA, UK
2 Manchester Metropolitan University, Hollings Faculty, Manchester M14 6H, UK

Identifying the target audience for hot pot snacks and which pot snack market. The 150 consumers comprised 86 males and
factors influence their buyer behaviour is vital information for 64 females aged 11–74 years. The data was analysed using
product developers and manufacturers. The reported market chi-square (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). Results
research evaluated the effect of changing lifestyles on the growth indicated that within the pot snack market, there are a variety
of the pot snack market and investigated consumer opinion of of reasons determining the demand for pot snacks. The fre-
pot snacks with particular regard to their nutritional status. This quency of consumption is influenced by knowledge and opinion
information is of particular interest to health professionals about the nutritional content of the pot snack product, suggest-
involved in improving the nation’s health. ing that consumers are now demanding health as well as
A consumer questionnaire measured the opinion of pot snacks, convenience.
frequency of consumption and influences on the growth of the 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

248 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

The attitudes and nutritional knowledge of 11–12 years olds

in Merseyside and Northern Ireland
C. Frobisher, M. Jepson and S.M. Maxwell
Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University, I. M. Marsh Campus, Barkhill Road, Liverpool L17 6BD, UK

School is a major area for providing young people with nutritional Ireland (NI). A questionnaire was designed, which examined
knowledge and skills. In Northern Ireland home economics is attitudes to aspects of healthy eating and tested the subject’s
taught to 11–12 years olds (CCEA,1998). The 1988 Education knowledge, practical and theoretical, on nutrition and healthy
Reform Act introduced the national curriculum and home eco- eating. Subjects aged 11–12 years were recruited (M:541,
nomics as a subject was effectively abolished in English schools. NI:128).
Key stage 3 pupils in England are taught nutrition in Science, The results indicate that the healthy food message seems
Design and Technology and in the cross curricular theme of to have been better learnt by children in Merseyside but
health education (SCAA, 1996). results of surveys in Merseyside into eating habits suggest
The aim of the study was to compare the attitudes and nutritional that many have not put this knowledge into practice.
knowledge of children in Merseyside, England (M) and Northern 27MiscellaneousAbstractsAbstracts

Social desirability affects nutritional and food intake

estimated from a food frequency questionnaire
R. Barros, B. Oliveira and P. Moreira
Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal

In order to assess the influence of social desirability in a food tical analysis included reliability and test–retest of M-CSDS, cor-
frequency questionnaire (FFQ), 483 Portuguese university stu- relation and general linear model (GLM).
dents (133 women and 350 men) were recruited to a two-part The Cronbach’s alpha of M-CSDS was 0.64 and a test–retest
self-administered questionnaire: the first part included the Mar- correlation of 0.80 was obtained in a subsample of 35 subjects
lowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale (M-CSDS), physical activ- who completed the scale twice. We found a significantly positive
ity data and self-reported height and weight; the second part, a correlation between social desirability and vitamin E for women;
validated semiquantitative FFQ. All subjects completed the first when adjusted for physical activity, body mass index and energy,
part of the questionnaire but only 40.2% returned the FFQ fairly social desirability was positively correlated with vitamin E, mag-
completed (no statistically significant differences were found nesium and fibre for women; and vitamin C, magnesium and
between the two groups, for any of the variables studied). Statis- fibre, for men. In GLM, social desirability produced a significant

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 249

upward bias in dietary fibre, sugars, β-carotene, vitamins C, E, In GLM, and for both genders, social desirability produced a
magnesium, potassium and iodine, for women; and in dietary significant upward bias in vegetable consumption. Moreover,
fibre, pufa n-3, folate, vitamins C, E, magnesium, manganese and social desirability produced for women a significant downward
potassium, for men. bias in white bread, onion and beer, and for men in biscuits.

Physical properties and degradability of PHB/chitosan

blend films
Meera Kim1, Soyun Jeon1 and Hyochung Kim2
1 Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Kyungpook National University, 1370 Sankyuk-dong, Puk-gu, Daegu, Korea 702-701
2 Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Inje University, 607 Obang-dong, Kimhae-city, Kyungnam, Korea 621-749

Synthetic polymers are rarely degraded in nature and cause granular sizes of the films were reduced with the addition of
environmental pollution. Biodegradable films have been devel- chitosan to the film in the micro structural observation by a
oped to alleviate the pollution. Many countries have great inter- scanning electron microscope. Mechanical properties, including
ests in biodegradable food packaging films. Poly (3-hydroxy tensile strength and percent elongation of the blend films
butyric acid) (PHB) is a natural biodegradable plastic with bio- increased with increasing chitosan ration in the films. It is dem-
compatibility. However, PHB has some problems of application onstrated that mechanical properties of the films were improved
to the food system because it is brittle and stiff. Because PHB by the addition of chitosan. The water vapour permeability
has a poor site for chemical modification, the blends of PHB with (WVP) of the PHB film was the highest and WVP was
flexible polymers can overcome these undesirable properties. decreased by the addition of chitosan. Oxygen permeability of
Therefore, we prepared the blend films of PHB with chitosan, the films decreased as chitosan amount increased. The films
analysed the mechanical properties and barrier properties had very good barrier property against lipid. The consumed oxy-
against water vapour, oxygen and lipid and monitored biodegrad- gen of PHB film was greater than that of chitosan film for incu-
ability of PHB/chitosan films in this study. bation on the biodegradability determination of the films.
The degree of crystallinity of PHB/chitosan films by X-ray dif- Therefore, the blend films could be expected to increase the rate
fraction decreased with increasing chitosan concentration. The of degradation in natural environments.

250 International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

An evaluation of the effects of Colour Me Beautiful on

women’s shopping habits
Ann Grove-White
University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Llandaff Centre, Western Avenue, Cardiff, UK

The research presents a case study about the way that women making in relation to clothes and colour due to a variety of social
make decisions about colour and dress prior to, and after a visit and personal reasons. The second section explores the pro-
to an image consultancy, Colour Me Beautiful. It specifically asks cesses by which the majority of interviewees began to gain
to what extent women feel they have benefited from such a confidence and a renewed interest in selecting clothes after a
consultation in relation to the fashion system and the experience colour consultation. Such a ‘technology of the self’ enabled the
of shopping. respondents to ‘play’ with the fashion system, in a way that they
The first section argues that the interviewees, prior to a con- had not felt able to do before. In particular the mechanisms of
sultation, had adopted a narrow and restricted mode of decision- expertise and meaning were central to this process of change.

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 27, 3, June 2003, pp218–251 251