Functional foods compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle: Some Swedish consumers' impressions and perceived need of functional foods
2009 (English)In: Appetite, ISSN 0195-6663, Vol. 53, no 1, 34-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim of the present study was to explore some Swedish consumers' impressions of and perceived need of functional foods. Data were collected through 10 focus groups. A total of 46 individuals participated (31 females, 18-75 years, and 16 males, 18-78 years). The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed by the use of content analysis. Uncertainties―e.g., if functional foods are normal foods or medicines, if the foods would give additional physiological effects and/or if the ingredients and substances could cause harm―caused questions among the interviewees of trustworthiness and a feeling of losing control. The interviewees debated on the necessity of functional foods. Apart from perceiving functional foods as unnatural, the interviewees thought that functional foods would falsely compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle. The use of functional foods was considered to be justified when a healthy lifestyle is incapable of improving people's health. The interviewees perceived themselves to be in no need of functional foods. They thought that the foods were meant for others, for those in unquestionable need. We conclude that the impressions of FF among Swedish consumers are complex and versatile. The necessity of FF was justified unless no other lifestyle changes were able to improve a person's state of health.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 53, no 1, 34-43 p.
functional foods, consumers, perception, natural, Swedish, lifestyle
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108858OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108858DiVA: diva2:241107