Food neophobia and its relationship with dietary variety and quality in Irish adults: Findings from a national cross-sectional study
McCarthy, Sinead N.
McNulty, Breige A.
Kearney, John M.
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CitationDaniel Hazley, Sinead N. McCarthy, Mairead Stack, Janette Walton, Breige A. McNulty, Albert Flynn, John M. Kearney, Food neophobia and its relationship with dietary variety and quality in Irish adults: Findings from a national cross-sectional study, Appetite, Volume 169, 2022, 105859, ISSN 0195-6663, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105859.
AbstractFood neophobia is characterised by a reluctance to eat novel or unfamiliar foods and has been linked to reduced dietary variety and quality. However, this link has been primarily studied in children. Therefore, we aimed to explore the relationship between food neophobia and dietary variety and quality in adults using a sub-sample of the National Adults Nutrition Survey collected between 2008 and 2010 (n = 1088). Food and nutrient intakes were assessed using a 4-day semi-weighed food diary. Food neophobia was measured using the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS). Dietary variety was assessed in three ways; Total Dietary Variety (TDV), Food-Group Variety (FGV) and Fruit and Vegetable Variety (FVV). Diet quality was assessed using the Mean Adequacy Ratio (MAR) and Nutrient-Rich Food Index (NRF9.3). A multivariate general linear model was used to assess the linear relationships between FNS score and all dietary measures, controlling for age, sex, education level, social class, location and BMI. Food neophobia was found to be inversely associated with TDV, FGV and FVV. In addition, food neophobia was negatively associated with vitamin C, magnesium and fruit and vegetable intakes and positively associated with percentage energy from free sugars. However, food neophobia was not significantly associated with all other nutrients, MAR and NRF9.3. While these results suggest food neophobia may not be a particularly important risk factor for poor nutrient status, adherence to certain dietary recommendations remains low within the Irish population and food neophobia may further inhibit the adaption of healthy and sustainable diets. Future research should seek to understand the implications of food neophobia on dietary behaviour change.
FunderDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
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