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Impact of consumers' health beliefs, health involvement and risk perception on fish consumption: A study in five European countries

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of consumers' health beliefs, health involvement, and risk perception on fish consumption behaviour in five European countries. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Cross-sectional data were collected through a pan-European consumer survey (n=4,786) with samples representative for age and region in Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Poland. First, the cross-cultural validity and cross-cultural differences in health beliefs, health involvement and risk perception in relation to fish have been tested. Next, structural equation modelling (LISREL) was used in order to simultaneously estimate the strength and direction of relationships between health beliefs, health involvement and risk perception in relation to fish consumption. Findings ‐ Health involvement links up indirectly with subjective health and with total fish consumption, in both cases through increased interest in healthy eating. Interest in healthy eating positively and directly influences fish consumption. Increased risk perception from fish consumption negatively influences consumers' subjective health, as well as consumers' total fish consumption. Finally, subjective health positively relates to satisfaction with life. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study focused on fish as a product category, and included only a limited number of attitudinal constructs. Originality/value ‐ This paper provides a unique model relating health beliefs, health involvement and risk perception to fish consumption, which has been tested and validated using a large pan-European consumer sample.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Consumer risk; Fish (food); Personal health

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-09-05

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