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Motives underlying food consumption in the Western Balkans: consumers’ profiles and public health strategies

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International Journal of Public Health



This study aims to identify subgroups of consumers based on the health motives underlying their food choice in Western Balkan Countries.


The survey (n = 2943) was based on the Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) and elicited information on socio-demographic characteristics, consumption frequency of healthy food products, nutrition knowledge and impulsiveness. Analysis of the FCQ data focused on items of “health and natural content” and “weight control” factors to identify clusters.


The biggest group of the sample was weight control and health-concerned individuals (34 %), mainly urban women older than 50. The second group of respondents (31 %) was moderately motivated about health and weight. A third group was health concerned but paid less attention to weight control (21 %), mainly comprising men and people living with children. The last group consisted of unconcerned young men (14 %) eating less fruit and showing higher impulsiveness.


Western Balkan consumers differ in the importance they attach to health and natural content and weight control. This insight is needed to target interventions.

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This article was written in the framework of the EU research project FOCUS BALKANS. The FOCUS BALKANS consortium gratefully acknowledges the financial contribution from the European Community under the Seventh Framework Programme (Grant agreement 212579). The authors thank Zaklina Stojanovic for her contribution.

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Correspondence to Julie Mardon.

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Mardon, J., Thiel, E., Laniau, M. et al. Motives underlying food consumption in the Western Balkans: consumers’ profiles and public health strategies. Int J Public Health 60, 517–526 (2015).

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