Browsing by Subject "food choice"

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  • Salgado, Ana L.; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2019)
    Larval-derived nutritional reserves are essential in shaping insects' adult fitness. Early larval instars of many Lepidopteran species are often sessile, and the conditions experienced by these larvae are often highly dependent on the mother's oviposition choice. Later larval stages are more mobile and therefore can choose their food whenever alternatives are available. We tested how feeding on a drought-exposed host plant impacts life history in an insect herbivore, and whether the observed responses depended on developmental stage. We used drought to alter host plant quality of the ribwort plantain, Plantago lanceolata, and assessed whether host plant preference of postdiapause larvae and adult females increased their own or their offspring's performance, respectively, in the Glanville fritillary butterfly, Melitaea cinxia. Larval response to drought-exposed host plants varied with developmental stage: early larval stages (prediapause) had decreased survival and body mass on drought-exposed plants, while later larval stages (postdiapause) developed faster, weighed more and had a higher growth rate on the drought-exposed plants. Postdiapause larvae also showed a preference for drought-exposed host plants, i.e. those that increased their performance, but only when fed on well-watered host plants. Adult females, on the other hand, showed an oviposition preference for well-watered plants, hence matching the performance of their prediapause but not their postdiapause offspring. Our results highlight how variation in environmental conditions generates stage-specific responses in insects. Individuals fine-tune their own or their offspring's diet by behavioural adjustments when variation in host plant quality is available.
  • Mäkelä, Minna (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    BACKGROUND Obesity has increased all over the world and also in Finland, which is causing nationwide health problems. Two out of three Finnish men and half of the women are overweight and every fifth Finn is obese. People face nowadays numerous food choice decisions daily. In order to be able to understand, which attitudinal factors may be risk factors for obesity, more information is needed about how people make food choices and whether body weight is associated with the importance of food choice motives. The area of weight, dieting and food choice motives hasn’t been researched much in the Finnish population before. OBJECTIVES The objective of this thesis was to study, whether there are differences in the importance of food choice motives among 25−64 years old Finns according to their body weight or dieting status. In addition, the prevalence of the factors related to weight and dieting in this population was also discussed. MATERIALS AND METHODS The data examined in this study was collected in FINRISKI 2012 -population study conducted in five different areas in Finland. The target group of this study were Finnish adults aged 25-64 years who filled in the questionnaires and attended the physical examination (n=4447). There were 2059 men and 2388 women. From the basic questionnaire was examined the socio-demographic factors, meal frequency, weight history and weight perception. From the follow-up questionnaire the data on dieting history, dieting status and food choice motives was utilized. From food choice motives only the most relevant motives regarding weight and weight control were examined. Methods used were cross-tabulation, linear regression and chi square -test (χ2-test). RESULTS AND CONCLUSION There were no major differences between different BMI groups for women or for men regarding which food choice motives the respondents rated important. Anyhow, some differences were detected regarding the favouring of low-fat foods and emotional eating. Overweight and obese respondents rated these food choice motives more important than normal weight respondents. Also those who had dieted more often, current dieters and those who perceived themselves as overweight also considered low-fat foods and emotional eating important. Finnish adults with different body weights considered most of the food choice motives equally important for the most part and thus weight is not associated with the perceived importance of food choice motives. The explanation for the lack of differences between body weight groups could be that overweight and obese people are overly conscious about their weight status. Also women considered the food choice motives more important than men, which might be explained by the more active role in food shopping and better knowledge about healthy food. Based on the results of this study, both the normal and over weight people as well as the obese have knowledge about healthy food choices and consider that knowledge as an important factor in the food choice situations. The perceived importance of emotional eating varies between weight groups, and that’s why the psychological factors relating to weight control and food choice should be taken into account in weight control groups and obesity interventions in order to prevent emotional eating.
  • Heino, Riina (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Aims: New forms of food services appear in the food market constantly as consumers are looking for new ways to ease their everyday lives. One new form of food services is a grocery bag service. With one delivery consumers may receive recipes and groceries to use for meals for several days. The aim of this study was to find out the impact of Anton & Anton's grocery bag service on the everyday life of its users. Another goal of this study was to explore the themes that lead to the choice to use of the service. The research questions are as follows 1) Why do consumers use grocery bag services, and 2) How does the grocery bag service affect to the everyday life management of the household. The theoretical framework of this study is based on earlier studies of consumer's food choice, and the concept of everyday life management by Liisa Haverinen (1996) Data and methods: The study was conducted with qualitative research. The data was collected with a questionnaire utilizing Typeform Internet application in March 2016. The participants were regular customers of Anton & Anton's grocery bag service. 109 answers were received to the questionnaire. 93% of respondents were female and only 7% male. The largest group of respondents (57) were between age of 30 to 45, the second largest were 45-65 year olds with 31 responses and the next were the 18-30 year olds with 15 responses. There were only six respondents aged over 65. Almost 60% of the respondents lived in a household with one or several children. The analysis of the data was conducted by content analysis and thematic analysis. Results and discussion: The results of the study suggest that the use of grocery bag services had many types of effects on the everyday lives of its users. The effects were perceived as mainly positive. According to the experiences of the users, the grocery bag service made their everyday life easier. The service developed the users' cooking skills and encouraged them to try new experiments in the kitchen. The users told that the use of the grocery bag service developed their diet to be more healthy and diverse. The service also made their grocery shopping more economical and systematic, and the shopping experience became more pleasant. The service directed the users to voluntarily make time and effort towards cooking. On the other hand the service decreased shopping time, which freed plenty of time in the users' everyday lives. The quality of the users' lives seemed to improve with successful cooking experiences as well as with distinguishing their own values in their food choices. According to the users, positive aspects of the grocery bag service also include decrease of food waste, increase of the use of vegetables and fish and decrease in unnecessary purchases, which save money.
  • Wassholm, Tiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Aims. The goal of this study was to examine knowledge, attitudes and practical experiences about nutritional recommendations of pregnant mothers. The study was targeted at women who were expecting their first child. The study was motivated by public discussion as well as earlier studies of how dietary nutrition may affect the health over many generations. Key Research Questions were: 1. How are the first-time mothers with different socio-demographic backgrounds experiencing nutritional recommendations and information? 2. How do different first-time mothers reconcile practical recommendations in their diet and what changes are being made in the diet? 3. Which are the challenges of eating during pregnancy as a single phase of life cycle? Methods. The research was carried out in 2018 using a quantitative research method and using a network inquiry linked to a baby-themed group in social media. 287 women answered to the inquiry. The material was analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics program. The most important frequencies were examined and the cross-tabulation and the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test were used in the analysis. Additionally, Chi-square test and independent samples t-test were used. Results and conclusions. Following the recommendations was mostly seen as easy. Those younger than 25 years of age experienced the recommendations easier. Respondents for whom compliance with the recommendations was difficult felt that the recommendations were too strict and that guidelines in different sources of information were conflicting. One third of the respondents had failed to comply with the recommendations on an occasional basis. This was mostly the result of situations where the content of the food available could not be affected. In addition, there was a discrepancy between the knowledge of the recommendations and the practical applicability of the recommendations: the respondent could experience knowing and following the recommendations, but in practice lack of knowledge could lead to deviating from the recommendations.
  • Appleton, K. M.; Tuorila, H.; Bertenshaw, E. J.; de Graaf, C.; Mela, D. J. (2018)
    Background: There are consistent, evidence-based global public health recommendations to reduce intakes of free sugars. However, the corresponding evidence for recommending reduced exposure to sweetness is less clear. Objective: Our aim was to identify and review the published evidence investigating the impact of dietary exposure to sweet-tasting foods or beverages on the subsequent generalized acceptance, preference, or choice of sweet foods and beverages in the diet. Design: Systematic searches were conducted to identify all studies testing relations of variation in exposure to sweetness through foods and beverages with subsequent variation in the generalized acceptance, preference, or choice of sweetened foods or beverages, in humans aged >6 mo. Results: Twenty-one studies met our inclusion criteria, comprising 7 population cohort studies involving 2320 children and 14 controlled trials involving 1113 individuals. These studies were heterogeneous in study design, population, exposure, and outcomes measured, and few were explicitly designed to address our research question. The findings from these were inconsistent. We found equivocal evidence from population cohort studies. The evidence from controlled studies suggests that a higher sweet taste exposure tends to lead to reduced preferences for sweetness in the shorter term, but very limited effects were found in the longer term. Conclusions: A small and heterogeneous body of research currently has considered the impact of varying exposure to sweet taste on subsequent generalized sweet taste preferences, and this evidence is equivocal regarding the presence and possible direction of a relation. Future work should focus on adequately powered studies with well-characterized exposures of sufficient duration.