Reports

Attitudes and fish consumption in Iceland 2011

Published:

01/12/2011

Authors:

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Dagný Yrsa Eyþórsdóttir, Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir, Emilia Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

Student Innovation Fund, Rannís

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Attitudes and fish consumption in Iceland 2011

The aim of the study was to examine consumption habits and attitudes related to seafood among Icelanders aged 18-80. A survey was set up online and letters were sent to a sample from Statistics Iceland in June 2011 and responses were received from 525 people. The aim was also to examine the changes that have taken place in Icelanders' attitudes and fish consumption since the last figures were published in 2006 for people aged 18-26. Attitudes and consumption of Icelanders were analyzed by gender, age, place of residence, education, monthly household income before tax, number in the household and number of children under 18 in the household. On average, Icelanders eat fish as a main course about twice a week. Haddock is the most popular species on the tables of the people and is consumed about once a week, followed by cod. On average, Icelanders take fish oil about four times a week, but in total about half of Icelanders take fish oil daily and 62% three times a week or more. In general, Icelanders seem to eat fresh but frozen fish more often and very little is bought from prepared fish dishes chilled or frozen. Attitudes towards eating fish are generally very positive and the vast majority consider fish healthy and good. Most people believe that family has the most encouraging effect on fish consumption and that a wider budget, easier access to fresh fish and a wider range of fish could have an effect on increased fish consumption. There is a big difference between fish consumption and the attitudes of men and women. Women prefer to buy food and place more emphasis on hygiene, freshness, accessibility and price. They are also of the opinion that it is expensive to eat fish. There was a significant difference between age groups, both in terms of total fish consumption frequency, consumption of different fish products and attitudes. Fish consumption increases with age, as does fish oil consumption. The emphasis on hygiene is lower among younger people. There was a difference in the consumption behavior and consumption of different fish species and products according to residence, which can probably be largely explained by traditions and different supply of fish. Most people, especially those in the older age group, find it rather expensive to eat fish. On the other hand, they find fish more valuable than younger ones. However, it seems that the youngest group is even willing to pay more for fish, as they are of the opinion that a wider range of ready-made fish dishes and fish dishes in restaurants could have an effect on increased fish consumption. Positive changes have taken place in fish consumption and attitudes of people aged 18-26 in the last five years. This group is now more in favor of fish and the frequency of fish consumption has increased somewhat, which is mainly explained by increased fish consumption outside the home. Consumption of fish oil and diversity in the choice of seafood seems to have increased. In this age group, there has been an increase in the consumption of fresh fish, sushi, salted fish and chilled semi-prepared dishes.

The aim of the study was to investigate seafood consumption and attitudes among 18‐80 year old Icelanders. A total of 525 people completed a web-based survey. The aim was also to study changes in attitudes and fish consumption in the last five years among people 18-26 years. The data were analyzed by gender, age, residence, education, income, number of household members and number of children below 18 years. On average, the fish consumption frequency (fish as main course) is around two times a week. Haddock is the most frequently consumed fish species and is consumed around one time per week. Fish oil is consumed four times a week on average, but 50% of the participants consume fish oil every day. Fresh fish is more frequently consumed than frozen fish and ready fish meals, chilled or frozen, are rarely bought. Attitudes towards consuming fish are generally very positive. Most people consider family to have the most encouraging influence on their fish consumption and that less stringent finances, easier access to fresh fish and more variety of fish could positively influence their fish consumption. Fish consumption pattern and attitudes differ by gender. Women more frequently purchase food and emphasize more healthy food, freshness, access and price. Large differences were found between different age groups, both regarding fish consumption frequency, fish products and attitudes. Fish consumption and fish oil consumption frequency increase with age. Emphasis on healthy food are less among younger people. Consumption habits and consumption of different fish species and products differ by residence around the country. This can largely be explained by different traditions and different fish supply. Most people, especially in older age groups consider it expensive to consume fish. They are, however, more likely to consider fish money worth compared to younger people. The youngest age group appears though to be ready to pay more for fish as their opinion is that more variety of ready fish meals and fish courses at restaurants could positively influence their fish consumption. The last five years, positive changes in fish consumption and attitudes among people 18-26 years have occurred. This group now consumes fish more frequently, the varity in their choice of seafood has increased. The consumption of fresh fish, sushi, salted cod and chilled oven ready fish meals has increased among this group.

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Reports

Review of evidence for the beneficial effect of fish consumption / Overview article on the positive effects of fish consumption

Published:

01/12/2010

Authors:

Björn Þorgilsson, Maria Leonor Nunes, Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir

Supported by:

EU, Matís

Review of evidence for the beneficial effect of fish consumption / Overview article on the positive effects of fish consumption

This report provides an overview of the main ingredients in fish that are thought to have a beneficial effect on human health. A number of health factors that have been linked to the positive effects of fish consumption were examined and evaluated. The greatest emphasis was placed on examining and evaluating the ingredients in fish that are present in relatively high concentrations and therefore likely to affect health, such as long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and vitamin D. Emphasis was placed on reviewing and evaluating information on the positive effects of fish ingredients on human health in recent meta-analyzes, review articles and expert opinions. The report was part of the European project QALIBRA or “Quality of Life - Integrated Benefit and Risk Analysis. Webbased tool for assessing food safety and health benefits ”or QALIBRA ‐Heilsuvogin in Icelandic.

The aim of this review is to facilitate policy makers, nutritionists and other interested parties of Western societies in judging claims regarding the health benefits of fish consumption. This review focuses on the main constituents in fish that have been associated with health benefits of fish consumption. A variety of human health endpoints that may be positively influenced by fish constituents are considered and evaluated. Most attention is given to the constituents in fish that are present at relatively high levels in fish and thus are likely to influence human health. These include omega ‐ 3 fatty acids (omega ‐ 3 FAs), selenium, and vitamin D. The scope of this review is broad rather than detailed concentrating on collation and evaluation of existing information about human benefits of fish consumption from meta ‐ analysis studies, reviews and expert opinions. This report was part of the work performed in the EU 6th Framework project “QALIBRA - Quality of life - integrated benefit and risk analysis. Web - based tool for assessing food safety and health benefits ”.

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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.

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Reports

Information on fish consumption and buying behavior from fishmongers and restaurants

Published:

01/10/2007

Authors:

Gunnþórunn Einarsdóttir, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Emilia Martinsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Information on fish consumption and buying behavior from fishmongers and restaurants

The project "Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood" aims, among other things, to gather information on the attitudes and fish consumption of young people. Questionnaires on various issues concerning fish consumption and young people's buying behavior were submitted to 14 fishmongers and five restaurants in the capital area at the end of 2005. This report summarizes information based on these parties' information and their views on young people's fish consumption. Some of the fishmongers expressed their concern about the tender specifications for the pre-schools and primary schools in Reykjavík, which were later found to be not good enough and clear enough, but it is very important to have clear definitions of what fresh ingredients are. This is important in light of the fact that some fishmongers say they know of examples where parents stop cooking fish at home where their children get it at school. The questions that must then arise are: How is fish in schools? Do the kids eat the fish at school? It seems to be different what people think the fish is expensive. The majority of people find it too expensive and there are examples of it comparing the price of fish with other foods. The fishmongers who have "gourmet fish shops", ie. are almost exclusively with ready-made fish dishes, but say they do not feel that people complain about the price. The people who come to them know what they are doing and are willing to pay for it. From the responses from the restaurants, it is clear that sales of fish dishes have increased over the years. Most fishmongers and restaurant owners agree that all fish and seafood commercials are good.

There is a consensus that fish and other seafood contain nutrients that have a positive effect on public health and consumption should thus be promoted. The overall objective of the project Young consumer attitudes and fish consumption: Improved image of seafood is to find ways to increase seafood consumption. This report discusses a particular survey, which was carried out in the project with the aim of gaining information about the purchasing and consumption behavior, as well as preferences especially of young consumers, with regard to seafood. Fishmongers, restaurateurs and caterers and others who have the occupation of dealing in fish and seafood, are among those believed to possess valuable information about consumer behavior in this respect. In order to tap into this data, a questionnaire was devised and 14 fishmongers, chosen by random selection, were visited and interviewed. The same questionnaire was also used to gain information from randomly selected restaurants that offer seafood, as well as managers at preschool- and compulsory school canteens. The many issues brought up by the questionnaire included purchasing behavior, quality, preferences, pricing etc. Some fishmongers voiced complaints about how Reykjavik City Treasury handled tendering procedures, especially the manner in which tender specification with regard to seafood for preschool- and compulsory school canteens has been carried out. The fishmongers claimed that the tender specifications regarding quality, freshness etc. were incomplete. Following these complaints, an informal investigation into the matter revealed that the criticism had some valid grounds.

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Reports

Fish consumption of 17 to 49 year old Icelanders on different fish species and products

Published:

01/09/2007

Authors:

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Fish consumption of 17 to 49 year old Icelanders on different fish species and products

This report is part of the AVS project "Value and safety of Icelandic seafood - Risk composition and risk ranking". Its aim is to provide a detailed and accessible summary of the information available on Icelanders' fish consumption, and is based on information obtained in the AVS attitude and consumption survey of the project "Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood" conducted in 2006. A national sample of people aged 17-49 was obtained from Statistics Iceland and a total of 2198 responses were received. The results concerning the total frequency of fish consumption, the frequency of consumption of fish species and products, the relative consumption of fatty and lean fish species were examined in terms of age, sex and place of residence. People's attitudes towards the health and risk of fish consumption were also examined. Although people generally seem well-informed and convinced of the health and safety of seafood, fish consumption is lower than recommended. People in the oldest age group (40-49 years) eat fish 1.9 times a week on average, but fish consumption is lower in the youngest age group (17-29 years) or 1.3 times a week. Icelanders eat the most lean fish such as haddock and cod, and it can be estimated that the 50% fish we eat are lean, about 25% medium fat and about 20% fatty fish such as salmon, trout and herring. Consumption of packaged, prepared fish dishes, chilled and frozen was insignificant and less than 10% people eat these dishes once a month or more. However, 30% people eat semi-prepared chilled fish dishes from a fresh fish table once a month or more. There were some differences in the consumption of different fish species and products according to age. The choice of younger people is not as diverse as that of older people, and younger people often do not eat fish species and products that older people have become accustomed to, such as marinated herring and caviar. A large part of the youngest age group eats fast food twice a week or more often. There is a considerable difference in people's consumption according to place of residence. People in the capital area eat fish less often, people in the countryside eat more traditional fish species such as haddock, but far more often frozen fish and salted fish. Residents of the capital, on the other hand, more often eat semi-prepared fish dishes from a fresh fish table.

The beneficial effects of fish on health are well known. Access to accurate information about fish consumption, fish species and -products, the percentage of lean vs fat fish species is very important in order to estimate the value and safety of Icelandic seafood products. This report is a part of the project Food safety and added value of Icelandic seafood products, funded by the AVS Fund of the Ministry of Fisheries in Iceland. The aim of this report is to provide detailed overview of the available information on fish consumption in Iceland. The information was collected in the project Young consumer attitudes and fish consumption: Improved image of seafood, an attitude and consumption survey in 2006 which was funded by AVS. A representative sample of the population in Iceland was provided by Statistics Iceland and answers from 2198 people 17-49 years were received. Results concerning total fish consumption frequency, fish species and -products, the relative consumption of fat vs lean fish species, attitudes towards the wholesomeness and risks of fish consumption were analyzed with regard to age, gender and residence. Although, people are generally well informed and convinced that seafood is wholesome and safe, fish consumption is below recommendations. People in the oldest age group (40-49 years) consume fish 1.9 times per week on average, but the youngest age group (17-29 years) consumes even less fish, only 1.3 times per week. Lean fish species, such as haddock and cod, is the most popular and it can be estimated that more than half of the fish consumed is lean, approx. 25% medium fat species but only 20% fat fish species such as salmon, trout and herring. Consumption of packed fish meals, chilled and frozen, is very low, less than 10% consume such products once a month or more frequently. However, 30% consume chilled ready-to-cook fish meals bought from fishmongers or fresh fish counters at supermarkets. Differences in consumption of fish species and -products were observed with age, the preferences of younger people tended to be more limited range and they often did not consume some of the fish species and -products which older people were accustomed to, such as marinated herring and caviar. Differences in consumption were also observed depending on residence. People in the capital area are likely to consume fish less frequently, whilst people living in the countryside are more inclined to prefer traditional fish species such as haddock, but much more often frozen- and salted fish.

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Reports

Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood

Published:

01/01/2007

Authors:

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

Supported by:

AVS Fisheries Research Fund

contact

Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir

Project Manager

kolbrun.sveinsdottir@matis.is

Attitudes and fish consumption of young people: Improving the image of seafood

The aim of the project was to gather information on the attitudes and consumption of fish by young people. The report describes the results of an attitude and consumption survey among people aged 17-26 and data were collected in two ways in 2006. Information from Statistics Iceland showed that 61.5% people at this age were in school and the survey was submitted to that group. in lessons. A total of 800 upper secondary school students and 399 university students were reached. From a random sample of 2,300 working people (100% employment rate) aged 17-26 from Statistics Iceland, 2252 received the questionnaire by post. A total of 536 (24%) responded to the online survey. A total of 1735 respondents out of 2000 (86.7%) were initially targeted. The questionnaire can be divided into ten parts. The first part asked about attitudes towards health and food categories. The next part asked about fish consumption, consumption of fish species, various foods and the purchase of fish. The third part asked about the taste of different fish dishes. They were asked what was most important when buying fish in the fourth part. The fifth part asked about factors that affect fish consumption. In the sixth part, the assumptions of fish consumption were assessed, ie. inspiring and discouraging elements. The seventh asked about external influences on fish consumption. In the eighth part, knowledge of the nutritional value and handling of fish was assessed. The ninth part examined where consumers get information about fish and the trust they place in such information. Finally, the background of the interviewees was asked. The questions were analyzed in terms of gender, age, education, place of residence, number of children under the age of 18 in the household, whether the individuals had children or not and household income. On average, young people aged 17-26 eat fish as a main course 1.3 times a week or about five times a month, which is well below the recommended level. It was found that eating habits in childhood have a formative effect on people's fish consumption and also residence, on the one hand in the capital area and the countryside as well as living abroad at a young age. People aged 17-26 seem to have been brought up with fish consumption, which has a significant effect on their fish consumption. It was also found that the proportion of these people who have left home eat the least amount of fish. Those who live in the countryside do not have fish shops or fresh fish tables in the supermarkets in their area and therefore do not have as many fish dishes to choose from in the shops and rather eat traditional fish types and dishes. Fish balls, grated fish and boiled fish, all of which can be considered rather traditional dishes, seem to suit the tastes of a certain group of consumers. The second group prefers so-called hidden fish (light sauce, thick sauce, stew and oven-baked dishes), and the third group prefers exotic dishes (Mexican, tropical, Indian and Japanese). However, there are some gender differences in attitudes and men answer that they are less for healthy food, fish, vegetables, pasta dishes but are more for meat and fast food than women. Women are more for fish and enjoy the food better with fish than without it. They are still generally less for food but like to cook food more. The family is a strong influence on fish consumption, it is most sought after for information and most trusted. Young people seem to trust scientists to provide reliable information, but little is sought for information. The information that young people receive comes largely from the internet and other media. Scientists need to make greater use of this in disseminating information that is relevant to the public.

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