Time Spent for Food Information Search and Obesity: North-South Dualism in Italy

In industrialized countries, the last 40 years has seen a marked change in the average level of per capita calorie intake, which has led to increased growth in overweight and obesity rates. There are many reasons to encourage public intervention aimed at facing the problems associated with excess body weight, and to promote healthy dietary habits. Among the public policies set out to reduce obesity rates, an important role is played by information measures. The purpose of this work is to analyse for the consumers the importance of food information in the allocation of free time, and to investigate the variables that affect the search for information. Following Drichoutis et al. (2008) we developed a conceptual framework through variables that affect the time spent searching for information. The study was conducted through an empirical analysis, and the sample consisted of 300 Italian consumers, 150 resident in Lombardy (northern Italy), and 150 in Apulia (southern Italy). The interviews were conducted in small shops, supermarkets and hypermarkets. For small shops we selected greengrocers, butcher's shops and shops selling dairy products. The data were analysed through OLS regression and ordinal regression models. The study, for the south sample, showed a relationship between the consumer willingness to devote time to information search and work flexibility, information stock, nutritional knowledge. In the case of northern sample, another variable that affects the time allocated for information search is BMI.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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