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Concept: Consumer


Herbal products available to consumers in the marketplace may be contaminated or substituted with alternative plant species and fillers that are not listed on the labels. According to the World Health Organization, the adulteration of herbal products is a threat to consumer safety. Our research aimed to investigate herbal product integrity and authenticity with the goal of protecting consumers from health risks associated with product substitution and contamination.

Concepts: Organism, Species, Herbalism, DNA barcoding, World Health Organization, Herbal, Consumer protection, Consumer


The U.S. wastes 31 to 40% of its post-harvest food supply, with a substantial portion of this waste occurring at the consumer level. Globally, interventions to address wasted food have proliferated, but efforts are in their infancy in the U.S. To inform these efforts and provide baseline data to track change, we performed a survey of U.S. consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviors related to wasted food. The survey was administered online to members of a nationally representative panel (N=1010), and post-survey weights were applied. The survey found widespread (self-reported) awareness of wasted food as an issue, efforts to reduce it, and knowledge about how to do so, plus moderately frequent performance of waste-reducing behaviors. Three-quarters of respondents said they discard less food than the average American. The leading motivations for waste reduction were saving money and setting an example for children, with environmental concerns ranked last. The most common reasons given for discarding food were concern about foodborne illness and a desire to eat only the freshest food. In some cases there were modest differences based on age, parental status, and income, but no differences were found by race, education, rural/urban residence or other demographic factors. Respondents recommended ways retailers and restaurants could help reduce waste. This is the first nationally representative consumer survey focused on wasted food in the U.S. It provides insight into U.S. consumers' perceptions related to wasted food, and comparisons to existing literature. The findings suggest approaches including recognizing that many consumers perceive themselves as being already-knowledgeable and engaged, framing messages to focus on budgets, and modifying existing messages about food freshness and aesthetics. This research also suggests opportunities to shift retail and restaurant practice, and identifies critical research gaps.

Concepts: Food, Recycling, Foodborne illness, Food safety, Restaurant, Consumer


The United Nations declaration of 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP) provided an unprecedented opportunity to showcase pulses on the global stage for their contribution to affordable nutrition, health, and sustainability. Despite the IYP’s successes in stakeholder engagement, continuing to foster and strengthen partnerships and collaborations is necessary to meet the IYP goals of increased pulse production and consumption for human benefit. Shifting consumer behavior to increase pulse consumption emerged during IYP meetings as a shared priority for all stakeholders. Focusing on this shared priority provides an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among all stakeholder groups for research, education, marketing, and ingredient/food production. Although the IYP officially closed at the end of 2016, the pulse community has an opportunity to continue building successful collaborations. The future research agenda can foster increased pulse production and consumption to address global nutrition, health, and sustainability challenges, provided that it is developed with multisectorial perspectives and cross-disciplinary collaborations. But, most importantly, the research agenda for pulses must be centered more deliberately on the end consumer and how to drive shifts in behavior toward increased pulse consumption, as this is the common shared priority around which all stakeholders can rally.

Concepts: Future, Pulse, United Nations, Collaboration, Stakeholder, Consumer, Consumer debt, Meeting


Numerous consumer health information websites have been developed to provide consumers access to health information. However, lookup search is insufficient for consumers to take full advantage of these rich public information resources. Exploratory search is considered a promising complementary mechanism, but its efficacy has never before been rigorously evaluated for consumer health information retrieval interfaces.

Concepts: Health care, Website, Business, Information retrieval, Consumer protection, Consumer, Information science


Consumers are living longer, creating more pressure on the health system and increasing their requirement for self-care of chronic conditions. Despite rapidly-increasing numbers of mobile health applications (‘apps’) for consumers' self-care, there is a paucity of research into consumer engagement with electronic self-monitoring. This paper presents a qualitative exploration of how health consumers use apps for health monitoring, their perceived benefits from use of health apps, and suggestions for improvement of health apps.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Qualitative research, Quantitative research, Engagement, Consumer protection, Consumer


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) personal genomic testing (PGT) allows individuals to learn about their genetic makeup without going through a physician, but some consumers share their results with their primary care provider (PCP).

Concepts: Psychology, Gene, Genetics, General practitioner, Primary care physician, Consumer protection, Consumer


In France, 50% of consumers sweeten plain yogurts prior to consumption. This study measured how much sugar consumers added under contextualized testing conditions. Participants (199 French adults who regularly consume plain yogurt adding sugar) were given a plain yogurt (125 g) at the end of a full meal and were allowed to sweeten it with their usual sweetener (caster sugar, honey, or jam). The quantities added were measured indirectly by weighing the sweetener containers before and after use; they were then converted into equivalent quantities of sucrose, or “added sugar.” Participants were asked to describe their relative hunger, thirst, and liking for plain yogurt and to estimate the quantity of sweetener they had added. On average, participants added 13.6 g of sugar to their yogurts, which is higher than the 10.2 g of sugar contained in pre-sweetened commercial yogurts (125g). More sugar was added when subjects used jam (24.4 g/yogurt, n=36) as opposed to caster sugar (11.0 g/yogurt, n=134) or honey (12.1 g/yogurt, n=29). Age, socio-professional category, and BMI had a significant influence on added-sugar quantity. Based on behavior and attitude, participants could be separated into three evenly sized groups: “low sugar users” (n=67, median= 6.1 g/yogurt), who tended to control their food intake, “medium sugar users” (n=66, median= 11.4 g/yogurt), and “heavy sugar users” (n=66, median= 19.9 g/yogurt) who sought immediate satisfaction. To our knowledge, this study is the first to provide robust data on the amount of sugar consumers add to plain yogurts in contextualized conditions (self preparation during a real meal). Our findings show that consumers underestimated by half the quantity of sweetener they added.

Concepts: Measurement, Food, Sugar, Honey, Fructose, Sucrose, Consumer protection, Consumer


Over 100 million people are estimated to take part in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship bracket contests. However, relatively little is known about consumer behavior in skill-based gaming situations (e.g., sports betting). In two studies, we investigated the overestimation phenomenon in the “March Madness” context. In Study 1 (N = 81), we found that individuals who were allowed to make their own predictions were significantly more optimistic about their performance than individuals who did not make their own selections. In Study 2 (N = 197), all subjects participated in a mock competitive bracket pool. In line with the illusion of control theory, results showed that higher self-ratings of probability of winning significantly increased maximum willingness to wager but did not improve actual performance. Lastly, perceptions of high probability of winning significantly contributed to consumers' enjoyment and willingness to participate in a bracket pool in the future.

Concepts: Scientific method, Future, Pool, Consumer, Basketball, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Sports betting, NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship


BACKGROUND: New York City recently proposed a restriction to cap the portion size of all sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) sold in food-service establishments at 16 oz (473 mL). One critical question is whether such a policy may disproportionally affect low-income or overweight individuals.Objective: The objective was to determine the demographic characteristics of US individuals potentially affected by a 16-oz portion-size cap on SSBs and the potential effect on caloric intake. DESIGN: We analyzed dietary records from the NHANES 2007-2010. We estimated the proportion of individuals who consumed at least one SSB >16 fluid oz (473 mL) in restaurants by age, household income, and weight status. RESULTS: Of all SSBs >16 oz (473 mL) purchased from food-service establishments, 64.7% were purchased from fast food restaurants, 28.2% from other restaurants, and 4.6% from sports, recreation, and entertainment facilities. On a given day, the policy would affect 7.2% of children and 7.6% of adults. Overweight individuals are more likely to consume these beverages, whereas there was no significant difference between income groups. If 80% of affected consumers choose a 16-oz (473-mL) beverage, the policy would result in a change of -57.6 kcal in each affected consumer aged 2-19 y (95% CI: -65.0, -50.1) and -62.6 kcal in those aged ≥20 y (95% CI: -67.9, -57.4).Conclusion: A policy to cap portion size is likely to result in a modest reduction in excess calories from SSBs, especially among young adults and children who are overweight.

Concepts: Effect, Statistical significance, Affect, Household income in the United States, Calorie, Consumer protection, Drink, Consumer


Although a number of studies have investigated how consumers use social media for health-related purposes, there is a paucity of studies in the Australian context.

Concepts: Australia, Consumer, Economics terminology