Why Do Some Consumers Make Unhealthy Food Choices?

Claudia Dumitrescu, Renee Hughner, Clifford J. Shultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This research examines the impact of gender, age, and education on food choices and addresses issues of causality in these observed relationships; a logit model was used to test the mediation effects and hypotheses. The results from a self-administered online survey indicate that gender and education are two key predictors of consumers’ food choices for their children. These findings are further explained by attitudes toward obesity. Specifically, female consumers and parents with lower levels of formal education tend to select food products that are nutritionally inferior because they are not necessarily concerned about their child’s weight and do not usually restrict their child’s food and diet. This research advances a causal mechanism that explains unexpected consumers’ food choices; it essentially proposes and tests two mediators—restrictions of a child’s weight and concerns about a child’s weight—of the relationship between key demographic variables and consumers’ food choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-704
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2017


  • Attitudes toward obesity
  • demographics
  • food choices
  • logit model
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Food Science
  • Marketing


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