Symposium on understanding and influencing consumer food behaviours for health: executive summary report.
ABSTRACT Food consumption patterns in Asia are rapidly changing. Urbanization and changing lifestyles have diminished the consumption of traditional meals based on cereals, vegetables and root crops. These changes are accompa-nied by an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases among Asian populations. ILSI Southeast Asia and CSIRO, Australia jointly organized the Symposium on Understanding and Influencing Food Behaviours for Health, focusing on the use of consumer science to improve food behaviour. The goals of the Symposium were to present an understanding of Asian consumers and their food choices, examine the use of consumer research to modify food choices towards better health, illustrate how health programs and food regulations can be utilized effectively to promote healthier choices, and identify knowledge gaps regarding the promotion of healthy food behaviour in Asian populations. There is no difference in taste perception among Asians, and Asian preference for certain tastes is determined by exposure and familiarity largely dictated by culture and its underlying values and beliefs. Cross-cultural validity of consumer science theories and tools derived from western populations need to be tested in Asia. Information on consumption levels and substitution behaviours for foods and food products, obtained using consumer research methods, can guide the development of food regulations and programs that will enable individuals to make healthier choices. Existing knowledge gaps include consumer research techniques appropriate for use in Asian settings, diet-health relationships from consumption of traditional Asian diets, and methods to address the increasing prevalence of over- and undernutrition within the same households in Asia.
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ABSTRACT: Consumption of nutrient rich foods such as beans and peas is recommended because these foods provide key nutrients and relatively little energy. Many consumers are unfamiliar with dried beans or do not have the time to prepare them. The purpose of this study was to compare nutrient density and nutrient-to-cost among dried cooked, canned (liquid and solids), and canned/drained black, garbanzo, kidney, lima, pinto, white beans, and black-eyed peas. Prices were ob-tained from 60 grocery stores in January 2009. Nutrient content per 100 g was calculated using the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22, and Nutrition Data System for Research (for canned/drained). Nutrient density scores were estimated using the Nutrient Rich Food Index 9.3 (NRF9.3). Nutri-ent-to-cost ratio (NTCR) was computed as the NRF 9.3 score (per 100 kcal) divided by the cost per half-cup servings per package (12) or per can (3.5). Compared to canned beans, dried cooked beans were significantly more energy dense, contained more protein, fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium; and less sodium than canned beans (p < 0.05 for all). Canned/drained beans contained more sodium than cooked beans (p < 0.05). NRF9.3 scores were 7.3, 2.8, and 4.8 for cooked, canned, and canned/drained beans, respectively. NTCR for cooked, canned, and canned/drained beans was 63.4, 8.9, and 15.2, respectively. Results highlight the benefits of choosing dried beans and also illustrate that canned beans, when drained, provide a healthy alternative. Beans, regardless of type/form, are a nutrient rich food and should be encouraged as part of an overall healthy diet.