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Attitudes to Food in Italy: Evidence from the Italian Taste Project

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Handbook of Eating and Drinking


Several factors are involved in determining food preference and diet quality. The Italian taste project aimed at exploring the associations among variables belonging to different domains presumed to be important in determining food preference and intake. The present chapter focuses on “Food Behavior and Attitudes” domain and reports results from a sample of 2249 respondents, representative of the Italian adult population. Attitudes towards food were investigated using the Health and Taste Attitude Scale (HTAS) and the Food-Related Lifestyle (FRL) questionnaire. Differences across country regions (North, Center, and South) and influences of gender and age on food attitudes were investigated. General health interest did not change across the Italian regions, while interest for light food was higher while interest for natural products and taste-related dimensions were lower in Southern than Central and Northern regions. Women were more interested than men in general health aspects, natural products, and taste-related aspects. General interest for health and for natural products regularly increased with age, while the importance of taste-related dimensions tended to decrease. Results from FRL indicated a general higher attention paid to food selection and preparation by Southern and Northern than by Central regions. All the FRL subscale scores were higher in females than in males except for convenience, higher in males than females. Younger subjects paid less attention to product information and were more interested in price but spent more time cooking and were more interest in novelty. These sociodemographic and attitudinal variables significantly influenced preference for and intake of healthy and traditional food, taking vegetables and spicy foods as representative categories.

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Correspondence to Caterina Dinnella .

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Dinnella, C., Spinelli, S., Monteleone, E. (2020). Attitudes to Food in Italy: Evidence from the Italian Taste Project. In: Meiselman, H. (eds) Handbook of Eating and Drinking. Springer, Cham.

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