Understanding Influences on Consumers’ Dietary Stress in Healthy Food Buying

Torben Hansen*, Thyra Uth Thomsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: This study aims to investigate relationships among body mass index (BMI), socioeconomic variables, dietary self-efficacy and consumer dietary stress in healthy food buying and explore whether different levels of personal values influence these relationships.
Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on an online representative cross-sectional study with 380 food consumers. Structural equation modeling served to estimate direct, mediating and moderating effects between the studied constructs and variables.
Findings: Examples of moderating and moderated mediating effects include a negative impact of BMI on dietary stress for consumers with low levels of enjoyment value but no significant effect for consumers with high levels of enjoyment. BMI also had a greater negative impact on dietary self-efficacy when the level of respect/achievement was high (vs low), and respect/achievement positively moderated the mediating effect of BMI on dietary stress through dietary self-efficacy.
Research limitations/implications: This study focuses on analyzing healthy food buying in a particular cultural setting and may suffer from a lack of generalizability to other cultures. The results suggest that research should take into account personal values when investigating stress.
Practical implications: Food managers and health authorities can improve their ability to reduce dietary stress when addressing consumers by understanding the role of personal values in healthy food choice and the impact on mental well-being.
Originality/value: This study offers a novel, more fine-grained conceptual model of how consumers develop dietary stress when buying healthy food.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)944-967
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 02. November 2020.


  • Values
  • Stress
  • Survey
  • Consumer research
  • Food

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