Presentation on theme: "Do College Students Perceive Healthier Food as Being More Expensive? Evaluating How Perceptions Can Affect Food Choice SIERRA S. HOWRY, A. DEAN MONROE:"— Presentation transcript:
Do College Students Perceive Healthier Food as Being More Expensive? Evaluating How Perceptions Can Affect Food Choice SIERRA S. HOWRY, A. DEAN MONROE: WU- RIVER FALLS LAURA STOCKING: ANGELO STATE UNIVERSITY
Motivation HEB commercial: You can eat healthy for less at HEB Is healthy food expensive? Do healthy food strain limited food budgets? ◦Anecdotal evidence suggest many people believe that healthier foods strain limited food budgets. ◦This perception may perpetuate inferior nutritional diets despite healthy alternatives being less expensive.
Literature There is a vast amount of literature on healthy foods and how to calculate the cost of the healthy food. In a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, researchers based their study on how the public measures price. When researchers were conducting this experiment they used calculations such as, price of food energy (price per calorie), price of edible weight, and price per portion. These measures show that the costs of healthier foods are not more expensive than unhealthy foods. When calculating these equations they used relative food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and proteins (Carlson, Frazao, 2012). Additionally, there is literature that examines people’s food choices by looking at what individuals buy in a grocery store and how their buying habits change as their income changes. In a study put out by the Journal of Nutrition, researchers looked at whether or not food choices made by an individual could reduce their budget and still maintain a healthy diet. In this study the researchers decreased the budget for the individual. They found that this decreased the amount of meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables and increased the amount of cereal, sugars and sweets bought by individuals (Darmon, et al, 2002 ). This study indicated that income and budget constraints play a large role in what people buy.
Research Questions Do college students perceive healthier food as being expensive food? ◦Can students perceive a difference in the healthiness of food? ◦Can students perceive a difference in expense of these food items? ◦How does perceived healthiness correlate with perceived expense?
Data/Method Online survey sent to all students on campus ◦264 usable responses Survey questions consisted of grouping variables such as gender, college classification, and age; and healthiness and expense evaluations using a five-point Likert scale. Food healthiness and expense questions were divided into four meal groupings with six specific foods per category along with preparation style and suggested quantity. Preselected foods in each category were determined by taking an informal panel survey of students as to what foods they commonly ate. Basic analysis of variance (ANOVA) on each meal group was conducted. A follow up of Tukey's Honest Significant Difference (HSD) was used to further evaluate pair-wise differences. A correlation was used to compare the results for each level of meal category.
Results: Table 1: Food item heath mean values and results of Tukey’s HSD multiple comparison test. Values based on Likert five-point scale. Items connected by line represent no statistical difference at a significance level of = 0.05.
Table 2: Food item expense mean values and results of Tukey’s HSD multiple comparison test. Values based on Likert five-point scale. Items connected by line represent no statistical difference at a significance level of = 0.05.
Table 3: Pearson correlation coefficients between perceived health and perceived expense.
Why can students not perceive a difference in expense? Breaking data down by groups ◦Age – 5 categories ◦Older students may have a better intuition about food prices ◦Gender ◦Cultural difference ◦Campus Residence – yes, no ◦Living on there own have a better insight on food prices ◦Amount spending per week on food – 5 categories ◦Perhaps students that spend more money on food would have a better idea about the expense of food
Discussion At this stage of analysis the results show that students can differentiate the healthiness of foods they typically consume, but were unable to differentiate the expense of those foods. Presumably, if the common perception is that healthy foods are more expensive, then the results should have indicated larger statistical differences in perceived expense. Additionally, there is little if any perceived relationship between food healthiness and expense at least at the aggregate level.
So what does that say about the common perception that healthy food is more expensive?