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Iranian Food Consumers Willingness to Shift into a Healthier Lifestyle by Consumption of Functional Foods

Zahra Salehi1, Reza Nekouian1, and Fatemeh Jahanjoo Amin Abad2
1. Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Allied Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, Iran
2. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran
Abstract—Change in human lifestyle followed by high incidences of obesity, chronic diseases and life time expectancies as well as aging of populations were underlying reasons which posed intense demand for consumption of health promoting food products such as Functional Foods (FFs). The present descriptive questionnaire based survey was aimed to investigate. (1) if Iranian food consumers are willing to switch into a healthier diet and life style; (2) whether they turn on functional foods to make them do so; and (3) what are main underlying reasons directing their acceptance of FFs?. Results of our study showed that majority of people in our sample society were informed about the link between diet and health and kept eye on diet (rather than physical activities and consumption of supplementary pills) to improve their health state and well-being. In addition, when it came to FFs, 65% of them were FF users. While healthiness was the most important determinant of consumers' willingness to use FFs, high price and safety concerns were demonstrated as vital factors which limited their acceptance. Successful communication and provision of information was another factor effecting consumers' willingness to buy FFs. 

Index Terms—functional foods, unhealthy eating habits, chronic diseases, consumer acceptance of functional foods

Cite: Zahra Salehi, Reza Nekouian, and Fatemeh Jahanjoo Amin Abad, "Iranian Food Consumers Willingness to Shift into a Healthier Lifestyle by Consumption of Functional Foods," International Journal of Life Sciences Biotechnology and Pharma Research, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 334-344, January 2014.
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