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Sweet Talk: A qualitative study exploring attitudes towards sugar, sweeteners and sweet-tasting foods in the United Kingdom.

Tang, C., Marston, M., James, J., de Graaf, K. and Appleton, K., 2021. Sweet Talk: A qualitative study exploring attitudes towards sugar, sweeteners and sweet-tasting foods in the United Kingdom. Foods, 10 (6), 1172.

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DOI: 10.3390/foods10061172

Abstract

Worldwide initiatives currently aim to reduce free sugar intakes, but success will depend on consumer attitudes towards sugar and the alternatives. This work aimed to explore attitudes towards sugar, sweeteners and sweet-tasting foods, towards consumption and related policies, in a sample of the general public of the UK. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 34 adults (7 males, ages: 18–65 years). Thematic analysis identified six themes: ‘Value’ (e.g., pleasure, emotions), ‘Angle’ (e.g., disinterest), ‘Personal Relevance’ (to be concerned and/or change one’s own behavior), ‘Personal Responsibility’ (one has an active relationship with these food items), ‘Understanding’ (the acquisition, comprehension and application of information) and ‘It’s Not Up to Me’ (a passive approach, because intake is subjected to other factors). Both positive and negative attitudes towards sugar, sweeteners and sweet-tasting foods were expressed in all themes. Participants also reported varied engagement with and motivations towards all food items, with implications for intakes. Suggested challenges and potential strategies for reducing free sugar intakes highlighted the need for differing approaches. Future work should assess associations between attitudes and intakes. For greatest population benefit, evidence of the dominant attitudes in those in greatest need of reduced free sugar intakes would be of value.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:2304-8158
Additional Information:This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behavior and Food Choice Funding This research received funding from Bournemouth University, UK, and Wageningen University and Research, NL.
Uncontrolled Keywords:sweet taste; sweetness; perceptions; focus groups; qualitative research; thematic analysis
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:35325
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:24 Mar 2021 16:55
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 08:28

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