Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 15520

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Health and Human Development, University of Évora, 7000-671 Évora, Portugal
2. Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development (MED), University of Évora, 7000-671 Évora, Portugal
Interests: biology of oral tissues; eating behavior and its effects on the health of people and populations; food, health and society and the “One Health” approach
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development (MED), University of Évora, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal
Interests: biological determinants of eating behavior; oral perception and salivary biochemistry associated with this perception; Mediterranean diet
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Health, University of Évora, 7000-671 Évora, Portugal
2. Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA), University of Évora, 7000-671 Évora, Portugal
Interests: sociology of health and organizations; planning and evaluation; prospective studies; evaluation of health technologies; public policies; organizations and health professions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the constant increase of the world population, is expected that agricultural production will have to follow this growth, in order to meet the corresponding needs of food and feed consumption. However, in order to guarantee the preservation of the planet and the optimization of the use of resources, the current production systems, mostly intensive, must undergo urgent transformations. The need for sustainable food production and consumption is evidenced by accentuated climate changes, which are already being felt, in some cases drastically, characterized by extreme weather events, such as heat and cold waves, storms, heavy rains and floods, droughts and wildfires, and greater unpredictability in weather patterns. Associated with the urgency of using sustainable production systems, it is equally necessary and essential to change consumption behaviors, lifestyles and personal choices, which are influenced by factors of a different nature. In the case of eating habits, many are dictated by socioeconomic and educational conditions, combined with individual biological factors, which affect the way food is perceived and preferred and, consequently, the final choices.

This special issue aims to bring together works on biological, social, psychological, cultural, historical, political and ecological factors associated with food production and choices, nutrition and society. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Biological determinants of eating behavior;
  • Psychosocial and socio-demographic determinants of eating behavior;
  • Economic determinants of food consumption;
  • Models of behavior change;
  • Global food/production systems and how the structure and functions of these systems affect individual and social health;
  • How the globalization of food impacts the health of individuals, populations and societies, emphasizing how food/food related social factors have effects on nutrition and different diets;
  • Identification of the participation of the various determinants of food choice, how they interact and the effects on health;
  • Advantages of sustainable production and consumption systems from the point of view of the individual, societies and the Planet;
  • Globalization, new consumer trends and their relationship with sustainability and health;
  • Food sovereignty, Food and food security and food waste;
  • Food and Health Policies and Promotion of healthy eating practices and lifestyles;
  • Eating behavior in contemporary societies;
  • Diseases of eating behavior.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Fernando Capela e Silva
Dr. Elsa Lamy
Prof. Dr. Carlos Alberto Da Silva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • determinants of eating behavior
  • models of behavior change
  • globalization of food impacts the health of individuals
  • food and food security and food waste
  • promotion of health lifestyles
  • planetary health and healthcare
  • One Health

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 752 KiB  
Article
Food Knowledge for Better Nutrition and Health: A Study among University Students in Portugal
by Raquel P. F. Guiné, Sofia G. Florença, Maria Graça Aparício, Ana Paula Cardoso and Manuela Ferreira
Healthcare 2023, 11(11), 1597; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11111597 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4531
Abstract
When students enter university, they suffer adaptations, including, usually, greater autonomy and responsibility for the choices they make. Therefore, it is crucial that they are well informed so as to make healthier food choices. The aim of this study was to determine whether [...] Read more.
When students enter university, they suffer adaptations, including, usually, greater autonomy and responsibility for the choices they make. Therefore, it is crucial that they are well informed so as to make healthier food choices. The aim of this study was to determine whether sociodemographic characteristics, academic performance and lifestyle (tobacco and alcohol consumption) interfere with food literacy in university students. A quantitative, analytical, descriptive, transversal and correlational study was carried out, using quantitative data obtained through a questionnaire survey applied to a sample of 924 university students in Portugal. Food literacy was assessed through a scale of 27 items, distributed in three dimensions: D1—Literacy about food nutritional value and composition, D2—Literacy about labelling and food choice and D3—Literacy about healthy eating practices. Results showed no differences in food literacy according to sex or age. However, food literacy varied significantly with nationality, either globally (p = 0.006) or in the different dimensions evaluated (p-values of 0.005, 0.027 and 0.012 for D1, D2 and D3, respectively). In terms of academic achievement, the results showed no significant differences according to self-reported academic performance or even to the average classification obtained in the course. Regarding lifestyle variables, it was observed that alcohol consumption or smoking are not associated with food literacy, that is, food literacy does not vary significantly with these two lifestyle variables. In conclusion, food literacy in general and the dimensions evaluated are essentially constant among university students in Portugal, only varying for students from abroad. These results help to better perceive the food literacy levels for the population under study, university students, and that can be a valuable tool to better increase food literacy at these institutions as a way to better prepare for a healthier life and proper food habits that can enhance health in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior)
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23 pages, 1154 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Nudging Cue Targeting Food Choice in a University Cafeteria: A Field Study
by Christine Kawa, Patrizia M. Ianiro-Dahm, Jan F. H. Nijhuis and Wim H. Gijselaers
Healthcare 2023, 11(9), 1307; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11091307 - 03 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2254
Abstract
Many students approaching adulthood often choose high-calorie food products. Concurrently, health interventions applied during this life phase can potentially lead to a healthier lifestyle. Nudge health interventions in experimental cafeteria settings have been found to improve eating behavior effectively, yet research in real-world [...] Read more.
Many students approaching adulthood often choose high-calorie food products. Concurrently, health interventions applied during this life phase can potentially lead to a healthier lifestyle. Nudge health interventions in experimental cafeteria settings have been found to improve eating behavior effectively, yet research in real-world settings is lacking. Accepting nudges as health interventions impacts nudge effectiveness. The present study applies a pretest–posttest design for a period of three consecutive weeks (no nudge, nudge, no nudge), testing the effectiveness of the so-called Giacometti cue on the number of calories purchased in a real-world cafeteria. Students were exposed to the nudge during the intervention week when entering the cafeteria and when choosing their meals. After purchasing a meal, their choice was recorded, and they completed a questionnaire. The Giacometti cue immediately reduced the number of calories purchased (comparing weeks one and two). After nudge removal, an effect was identified, increasing the number of calories purchased (comparing weeks two and three). Contrary to expectations, higher nudge acceptance resulted in more calories purchased. Neither awareness of the nudge’s presence when buying food nor the interaction between acceptance and awareness played a role. We explore potential explanations for the Giacometti cue’s effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior)
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12 pages, 714 KiB  
Article
Study the Effect of an Innovative Educational Program Promoting Healthy Food Habits on Eating Disorders, Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Body Composition in University Students
by Alejandro Martínez-Rodríguez, Lorena Vidal-Martínez, María Martínez-Olcina, Laura Miralles-Amorós, Juan Antonio Sánchez-Sáez, Domingo Jesús Ramos-Campo, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez, Natalia Martínez-Amorós, Kamela Cheikh-Moussa, Nuria Asencio-Mas, Luis Andreu-Caravaca and Jacobo Ángel Rubio-Arias
Healthcare 2023, 11(7), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11070965 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
The university stage is a good time to promote healthy eating strategies. The sociological and cultural changes experienced by students lead them to skip meals, increase their intake of fast food and energy-dense foods, decreasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD). Professionals related [...] Read more.
The university stage is a good time to promote healthy eating strategies. The sociological and cultural changes experienced by students lead them to skip meals, increase their intake of fast food and energy-dense foods, decreasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD). Professionals related to food such as nutritionists and dietitians are also considered a population at risk of developing eating disorders due to the extensive knowledge they possess, which can be used for both good and bad practice. The objective was to analyze the impact of a 4-month educational program promoting the Mediterranean diet on risky eating behaviors, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and body composition in nutrition and dietetics students, studying the differences according to the group investigated (control group and educated group). The context of the research was 196 students (49 males and 147 females) from two consecutive years. The control group did not receive any type of intervention, while with the control group (educated) an educational program was carried out. Results showed that women with greater control over energy intake, carbohydrates, and sugar had a lower percentage of fat mass, while in men, the relationship was established with weight. Regarding adherence to the Mediterranean diet, at post, it is adequate in both men (8.25 ± 2.87) and women (7.90 ± 2.89), with no significant differences between the intervention groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior)
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10 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Adolescent Behaviours and Their Relationship to the Risk of Developing Eating Disorders
by Joaquín Tarifa Pérez, Montserrat Monserrat Hernández, Ángeles Arjona Garrido, Darío Salguero García and Juan Carlos Checa Olmos
Healthcare 2023, 11(4), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11040624 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
Eating disorders (ED) in adolescents represent a significant problem in today’s society, with multiple factors influencing them, such as predisposing factors, precipitating factors and perpetuating factors. Objective: This paper aimed to determine the relationships between some of the factors considered to be predisposing [...] Read more.
Eating disorders (ED) in adolescents represent a significant problem in today’s society, with multiple factors influencing them, such as predisposing factors, precipitating factors and perpetuating factors. Objective: This paper aimed to determine the relationships between some of the factors considered to be predisposing and precipitating in terms of the development of ED in adolescents and to relate them to the SCOFF index. Participants: The sample was made up of 264 subjects aged between 15 and 19 (48.8% females and 51.1% males). Methods: This study was conducted in two phases. In the first study phase, a descriptive analysis of the sample was performed, encompassing the frequencies of the independent variables and dependent variable (ED). In the second phase of study, we created several linear regression models. Results: A total of 11.7% of adolescents are at high risk for ED, and the variables that predict the variability of manifesting the danger of ED are the following: physical self-conception and family relationships. Conclusions: This work shows the need to approach eating disorders in a multidisciplinary way (biological and social), since this will enable the disease to be better conceptualized and prevention guidelines to be more effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior)

Review

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20 pages, 628 KiB  
Review
Influence of Nutrition on Mental Health: Scoping Review
by Lara María Suárez-López, Lluna Maria Bru-Luna and Manuel Martí-Vilar
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152183 - 01 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3895
Abstract
The aim of this article was to carry out a scoping review of existing research on the influence of food on mental health: (1) Background: nutrition, nutrient levels or an adequate body weight seem to influence the mental health status of individuals. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this article was to carry out a scoping review of existing research on the influence of food on mental health: (1) Background: nutrition, nutrient levels or an adequate body weight seem to influence the mental health status of individuals. The consumption of psychotropic drugs also seems to contribute to overweight; (2) Methods: fifteen previous research articles were used in the review, which were read in their entirety, following PRISMA methodology and using SPIDER and GRADE tools; (3) Results: there is a relationship between diet and mental health status. Low levels of magnesium, together with high levels of calcium, provoke anxious states, and supplementation with Melissa Officinalis attenuates them. Healthy nutritional habits generally reduce depressive symptoms; while vitamin D supplementation improves mental health status; (4) Conclusion: in general, healthy and appropriate nutrition, such as the Mediterranean diet, improves mental health status. Levels of magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B6 also seem to have an influence. As limitations of the present review, “food” was considered any form of nutrient administered as an independent variable, and it may include linguistic and publication bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior)
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