Dietary behaviours may be influenced by perceptions of barriers to healthy eating. In a study just published in the European Journal of Nutrition, we used data from the Spotlight project, a large cross-European study (N = 5900) to study potential determinants of energy balance behaviours and obesity, to explore associations between various perceived barriers to healthy eating and dietary behaviours among adults from urban regions in five European countries and examined whether associations differed across regions and socio-demographic backgrounds. Gabi Pinho is
We tested associations between barriers (irregular working hours; giving up preferred foods; busy lifestyle; lack of willpower; price of healthy food; taste preferences of family and friends; lack of healthy options and unappealing foods) and dietary variables using multilevel logistic regression models. We explored whether associations differed by age, sex, education, urban region, weight status, household composition or employment.
Perceived ‘lack of willpower’, ‘time constraints’ and ‘taste preferences’ were barriers most strongly related to dietary behaviours, and the association between various barriers and lower intake of fruit and vegetables was somewhat more pronounced among younger participants and women.