Skip to main content

Food Consumption and Nutritional Labeling Among Immigrants to Israel from the Former Soviet Union

Abstract

Nutritional labeling helps consumers make healthier choices regarding food product purchases. In this study, we examined the difference between immigrants from the former Soviet Union who emigrated to Israel beginning in 1990 (IIFSU) and the general population of Israel regarding food consumption broadly and the use of nutritional labeling specifically. A representative sample of each population (n = 592) was composed and interviewed. According to the findings, compared to the general population, the IIFSU attribute less importance to health factors in purchasing food products and information about the ingredients contained in food products; they tend not to follow nutritional labels; and report less on the need for nutritional integrative labeling. Following from this, in the second part of the study, we investigated which of the socio-economic variables is most dominant in shaping attitudes towards food consumption and nutritional labeling. Only immigration and age were found in correlation with attitudes related to healthy food consumption. In contrast, gender, education and religious observance did not affect food selection. Immigration was recognized as the main factor with more clout than the other variables. In conclusion, it is crucial to clarify immigrants’ perceptions of the concept of “health” and “proper nutrition” in formulating health promotion programs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Nishida C, Uauy R, Kumanyika S, Shetty P. The joint WHO/FAO expert consultation on diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: process, product and policy implications. Public Health Nutr. 2004;7(1A):245–50.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Hawkes C. Nutrition labels and health claims: the global regulatory environment. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  3. WHO Resolution WHA57.17. Global strategy on diet physical activity and health. Fifty-seventh World Health Assembly. Geneva; 2004.

  4. Signal L, Lanumata T, Robinson JA, Tavila A, Wilton J, Mhurchu CN. Perceptions of New Zealand nutrition labels by Māori, Pacific and low-income shoppers. Public Health Nutr. 2008;11(07):706–13.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Schmitt NM, Wagner N, Kirch W. Consumers’ freedom of choice—advertising aimed at children, product placement, and food labeling. J Public Health 2007; 15(1):57–62.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Lubman N, Doak C, Jasti S. Food label use and food label skills among immigrants from the former Soviet Union. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012;44(5):398–406.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Beardworth A, Keli T. Sociology on the menu. London and New York: Routledge; 1977.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Morse M. What do cyborgs Eat? Oral logic in an information society. Discourse. 1994;16(3):86–123.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Mokhtar N, Elati J, Chabir R, Bour A, Elkari K, Schlossman NP, Caballero B, Aguenaou H. Diet culture and obesity in northern Africa. J Nutr. 2001;131(3):887S–92S.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Lissak M. The immigrants from the Soviet Union between seclusion and integrating In: Lissak M, editor. Israel towards the year 2000. Jerusalem: Magnes; 1996. p. 1–24.

  11. Biederman P. Social distance of young newcomers from the former USSR from Israeli Society. Haifa: University of Haifa; 1997.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Aaronson N. Absorption of immigrant’s students from Soviet Union in the mirror of the reference group model. Haifa: University of Haifa; 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Kozulin A, Wanger A. Immigration without adaptation: The psychological world of immigrants. In: Prital D, editor. Former Soviet Union Jews in Passage. Jerusalem; 1995.

  14. Leshem E. The Israel public’s attitudes toward the new immigrants of the 1990s. Social Secur. 1994;3:164–88.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Mirsky J, Prawer L. To immigrate as an adolescent. In: Horowitz T, editor. Children of Perestroika in Israel. Langham: University Press of America; 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Rosenbaum Y, Farber H. Social absorption of immigrants In: Loewenberg M, Kra′us M, editors. Absorption and welfare in Israel—reader. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University; 1979. p. 15–46.

  17. Ben-Sira Z. Nutrition knowledge and habits among immigrants from Ethiopia and Soviet Union. Jerusalem: Adar; 1993.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Benisovich SV, King AC. Meaning and knowledge of health among older adult immigrants from Russia: a phenomenological study. Health Educ Res. 2003;18(2):135–44.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Duncan L, Simmons M. Health practices among Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. J Community Health Nurs. 1996;13(2):129–37.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Hosler AS, Melnik TA, Spence MM. Diabetes and its related risk factors among Russian-speaking immigrants in New York State. Ethn Dis. 2004;14(3):372–7.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Ivanov LL, Buck K. Health care utilization patterns of Russian-speaking immigrant women across age groups. J Immigr Health 2002; 4(1):17–27.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Ivanov LL, Hu J, Pokhis K, Roth W. Preventive health care practices of Former Soviet Union immigrant women in Germany and the United States. home Health Care Management & Practice. 2010; 22(7):485–91.

  23. Mehler PS, Scott JY, Pines I, Gifford N, Biggerstaff S, Hiatt WR. Russian immigrant cardiovascular risk assessment. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2001;12(2):224–35.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Keinan-Boker L, Noyman N, Chinich A, Green MS, Nitzan-Kaluski D. Overweight and obesity prevalence in Israel: findings of the first national health and nutrition survey (MABAT). Isr Med Assoc J. 2005;7(4):219–23.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Feunekes GI, Gortemaker IA, Willems AA, Lion R, van den Kommer M. Front-of-pack nutrition labelling: testing effectiveness of different nutrition labelling formats front-of-pack in four European countries. Appetite. 2008;50(1):57–70.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Dotsch-Klerk M, Jansen L. The Choices programme: a simple, front-of-pack stamp making healthy choices easy. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(Suppl 1):383–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Vyth EL, Steenhuis IH, Mallant SF, Mol ZL, Brug J, Temminghoff M, Feunekes GI, Jansen L, Verhagen H, Seidell JC. A front-of-pack nutrition logo: a quantitative and qualitative process evaluation in the Netherlands. J Health Commun. 2009;14(7):631–45.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Vyth EL, Steenhuis IH, Roodenburg AJ, Brug J, Seidell JC. Front-of-pack nutrition label stimulates healthier product development: a quantitative analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:65.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Vyth EL, Steenhuis IH, Vlot JA, Wulp A, Hogenes MG, Looije DH, Brug J, Seidell JC. Actual use of a front-of-pack nutrition logo in the supermarket: consumers’ motives in food choice. Public Health Nutr. 2010;13(11):1882–9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Roodenburg AJ, Popkin BM, Seidell JC. Development of international criteria for a front of package food labelling system: the International Choices Programme. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65(11):1190–200.

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Kass GV. An exploratory technique for investigating large quantities of categorical data. J R Stat Soc: Ser C (Appl Stat). 1980;29(2):119–27.

    Google Scholar 

  32. McCarty JA, Hastak M. Segmentation approaches in data-mining: a comparison of RFM, CHAID and logistic regression. J Business Res. 2007;60(6):656–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Dotsch-Klerk M, Jansen L. The choices programme: a simple, front-of-pack stamp making healthy choices easy. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(Suppl 1):383–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Barthes R. Toward a psycho-sociology of contemporary food consumption. In: Forster R, Ramun O, editors. Food & Drink in History. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 1989. p. 35–58.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The reserach was funded by Choices Israel Organization.

Ethical Standard

Application was made to the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences Ethics Committee for research with human subjects at Haifa University and full ethical approval (no. 098/11) was granted.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anat Gesser-Edelsburg.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gesser-Edelsburg, A., Endevelt, R., Zemach, M. et al. Food Consumption and Nutritional Labeling Among Immigrants to Israel from the Former Soviet Union. J Immigrant Minority Health 17, 459–466 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-013-9885-6

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-013-9885-6

Keywords

  • Food consumption
  • Nutritional labeling
  • Immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union