Associations between nutritional properties of food and consumer perceptions related to weight management

Nicola J. Buckland, Michelle Dalton, R. James Stubbs, Marion M. Hetherington, John E. Blundell, Graham Finlayson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Consumer perceptions of food (for example, how filling or healthy) influence eating behaviour and appetite control. Therefore approaches to understand the global nutritional attributes of foods that predict the strength of consumer perceptions are of academic and commercial interest. The current research describes the development of a flexible platform for systematically mapping the global nutritional attributes of foods (both objective and perceived) to consumer perceptions of those foods. The platform consists of a database of standardised UK food images (currently n= 300), linked to a catalogue of detailed perceptual, nutritional, sensory, cost, and psychological information ('nutritional attributes'). The platform also incorporates demographic and psychometric questionnaires to examine the importance of nutritional attributes on consumer perceptions within or between relevant target groups. In the current study, the platform was applied to a sample of dieting and non-dieting British men and women (n= 887) to examine the global attributes of a subset of foods (n= 75) and their association with successful weight management (i.e. supportive of weight loss, weight loss maintenance or prevention of weight gain). Generalised linear models identified energy density, cost (£/kcal), perceived energy content and satiating capacity as the main nutritional attributes underlying dieters' and non-dieters' perception of successful weight management food. Additionally, pleasantness, and desire not to (over) eat were uniquely associated with dieters' perception of food as good for weight management; pleasantness was positively associated with weight management and desire to eat was negatively associated with weight management. Therefore, global nutritional attributes of foods can predict and distinguish the extent consumers' perceive a food to be related to successful weight management. This platform will be extended to increase the variety of foods and specificity of nutritional attributes in the database suitable for a range of commercial, academic or clinical research applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Early online date23 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer perceptions
  • Dieters
  • Food images
  • Food perceptions
  • Successful weight management


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