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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Fluid milk consumption has declined for decades while consumption of nondairy alternatives has increased. A better understanding of why consumers purchase fluid milk or nondairy alternatives is needed to assist increased sales of milk or maintain sales without further decline. The objective of this study was to determine the extrinsic attributes that drive purchase within each product category. The second objective was to determine the personal values behind the purchase of each beverage type to give further understanding why particular attributes are important. An online conjoint survey was launched with 702 dairy consumers, 172 nondairy consumers, and 125 consumers of both beverages. Individual means-end chain interviews were conducted with fluid milk consumers (n = 75), plant-based alternative consumers (n = 68), and consumers of both beverages (n = 78). Fat content (P < 0.05) was the most important attribute for dairy milk followed by package size and label claims. Consumers of fluid milk preferred 1 or 2% fat content, gallon, or half-gallon packaging, conventionally pasteurized store-brand milk. Sugar level was the most important attribute for plant-based beverages, followed by plant source and package size. Almond milk was the most desirable plant source, and half-gallon packaging was the most preferred packaging. Means-end chain interviews results suggested that maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle was important to all consumer groups. Lactose free was an important attribute for plant-based alternative consumers and consumers of both dairy and nondairy. A distinguishing characteristic of those who only drank nondairy plant-based alternatives was that plant-based beverages contributed to a goal to consume less animal products, beliefs about animal mistreatment, and perceived lesser effect on the environment than fluid milk. Unique to fluid milk consumers was that fluid milk was perceived as a staple food item. These results suggest that the dairy industry should focus on the nutrition value of milk and educating consumers about misconceptions regarding dairy milk. Future beverage innovation should include the development of lactose-free milk that is also appealing to consumers in flavor.
The availability of mobile health apps for self-care continues to increase. While little evidence of their clinical impact has been published, there is general agreement among health authorities and authors that consumers' use of health apps assist in self-management and potentially clinical decision making. A consumer’s sustained engagement with a health app is dependent on the usability and functionality of the app. While numerous studies have attempted to evaluate health apps, there is a paucity of published methods that adequately recognize client experiences in the academic evaluation of apps for chronic conditions.