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October 2021

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jun; 51 Suppl 2(): S16-22.

Sources used and trusted by nationally-representative adults in the European Union for information on healthy eating.

de Almeida MD, Graça P, Lappalainen R, Giachetti I, Kafatos A, Remaut de Winter A, Kearney JM.

Curso de Ciencias da Nutricao, Porto, Portugal.

OBJECTIVE: To assess what sources of information on healthy eating are used and in particular to ascertain which are the most trusted by European adults. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study in which quota-controlled, nationally-representative samples of approximately 1000 adults from each country completed a face-to-face interview-assisted questionnaire. SETTING: The survey was conducted between October 1995 and February 1996 in the 15 member states of the European Union. SUBJECTS: 14331 subjects (aged 15 y upwards) completed the questionnaire. Data were weighted by population size for each country and by sex, age and regional distribution within each member state. RESULTS: The five sources of information most frequently selected were: TV/radio (29%), magazines and newspapers (27%), health professionals (26%), food packages (22%) and relatives/friends (22%). Those used by less than 5% of the population included vegetarian and slimming societies and women's organizations. The reliance on health professionals for information was stronger for females and tended to increase with age. The most trusted sources of information in almost all countries were health professionals (91%) and government agencies (80%) with great consistency across countries. 15% of Europeans stated that they did not get any information on healthy eating.

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