HealthDay News — Food-related policies differently impact consumers with obesity and healthy weight, according to a report published by the Hudson Institute.
Hank Cardello, from the Food Policy Center at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., applied consumer segmentation analysis to a survey of 2,000 respondents to examine attitudes toward eating, healthy living habits, mindsets, and food buying behaviors.
According to the report there is a major disparity between food-related policies and the mindsets and motivations of overweight consumers. Consumers with obesity report favoring taste and value rather than health and nutrition, and note making choices more impulsively, which may be at the expense of healthy eating. Consumers with a healthy body mass index would be willing to sacrifice taste and value for a product with more health benefits. Compared to those with obesity, healthy-weight individuals are more likely to read and act on package labels. One-quarter of consumers with obesity report never exercising; they do not believe that exercise is important for health, in contrast to healthy-weight individuals. Recommendations for changing behavior include lowering calories in packaged snacks/sweet baked goods and in restaurant sectors, including stealth measures; reassessing tactics to ensure more effective food policy for all; and more research into overweight/obese groups to understand their tradeoffs across an array of foods.
“By applying consumer segmentation techniques, we can motivate action within communities that need it,” Cardello said in a statement.