Reports

Attitudes and fish consumption of young people aged 16 to 20: Intervention in Akureyri Young consumer attitudes and fish consumption: Improved image of seafood

Published:

01/02/2009

Authors:

Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir, Ása Vala Þórisdóttir, Fanney Þórsdóttir, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Emilía Martinsdóttir, Friðrik H. Jónsson, Inga Þórsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund: R020-05

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Attitudes and fish consumption of young people aged 16 to 20: Intervention in Akureyri Young consumer attitudes and fish consumption: Improved image of seafood

1. The aim of the project "Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood" was, among other things, to obtain information on the attitudes and fish consumption of young people. Here is a summary of the results of a participatory study conducted on young people aged 16-20 years. It was examined whether education about fish and more access to it would result in increased fish consumption and more positive attitudes towards fish.

Method and participants: The study was conducted on students from Menntaskólinn á Akureyri and Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri who lived on the student parks Lund. The intervention took place in such a way that the number of fish meals in the canteen was increased by half and educational lectures were held for the students where more than 80 students attended (27%) and a presentation was posted on the website. An opinion and consumption survey was prepared in the form of a questionnaire and presented to the students. The same survey was conducted in the fall of 2006 (n = 225, 75%) before the intervention and in the spring of 2007 (n = 220, 73%) after the intervention. The questionnaire was divided into seven sections: 1. Attitudes towards health and food categories; 2. Fish consumption and consumption of various foods; 3. Taste for fish dishes; 4. Factors affecting fish consumption; 5. Prerequisites for fish consumption; 6. External influencers, 7. Knowledge regarding fish.

Results: The intervention resulted in better knowledge of the fish and fish oil consumption increased by almost half and more in girls than boys. Thirty-two percent of students consumed fish oil daily after the intervention but only 22% before the intervention. Furthermore, 38% consumed fish oil 4-7 times a week after the intervention but only 28% before the intervention. On average, the young people ate fish as a main course 1.8 times a week before the intervention and 1.9 times a week after the intervention, but the difference was not significant. The students' fish consumption is therefore not far from the Public Health Institute's recommendations. In terms of incentives for fish consumption, parents were the strongest influencers, but their influence diminished only after intervention. Students' attitudes towards fish became more negative after the intervention, but despite this, their fish consumption did not decrease. Those who did not have fish before the intervention liked it better after the intervention. Targeted education about both healthy fish and an increased supply of diverse fish dishes are necessary to promote increased fish consumption by young people.

The aim of the project “Young consumer attitudes and fish consumption: Improved image of seafood” was to obtain information on the attitudes of young people towards fish and fish consumption. Results are shown from an interventive research which was carried out on young people of the age group 16-20. It was examined if education about fish and its accessibility would result in increased fish consumption and more positive attitudes towards fish. Method and participants: Students from the college and vocational school at Akureyri participated in the study. The intervention was done by doubling the number of fish meals at the school's canteens and informative lectures were given to over 80 students (27%) and information was given on the school web. The students answered a questionnaire on attitudes and consumption of fish. The same study was done twice; in the autumn 2006 (n = 225, 75%) before the intervention and in spring 2007 (n = 220, 73%) after the intervention The questionnaire was divided into 7 parts: 1. Attitudes towards health and food types; 2. Consumption of fish and other foods; Liking of various fish dishes; 4. Factors affecting fish consumption; 5. Prerequisite of fish consumption; 6. External effects; 7. Knowledge about fish. Results: The intervention resulted in better knowledge about fish and the fish liver oil consumption almost doubled, more among girls than boys. Thirty-two percent of the students consumed fish oil daily after the intervention but only 22% before. Further, 38% consumed fish oil 4-7 times a week after the intervention but only 28% before. On average, the young people consumed fish as a main dish 1.8 times a week before the intervention but 1.9 after, the difference was not significant. The fish consumption of the students is therefore not far from the recommendation of the Public Health Institute of Iceland. The parents had the most influence on encouraging increased fish consumption, but their effect decreased a little after the intervention. The attitudes of the students towards fish became more negative after the intervention but did not however decrease their fish consumption. Those who did not like fish before the intervention liked it better after the intervention. Systematic education on the wholesomeness of fish and increased variety of fish dishes are essential to encourage increased fish consumption among young people.

View report
en_GBEnglish