"Eating habits are changing at a pace rushed to meet the social norm of
"healthy eating" conveyed throughout the media. This is what we have
called the Food Stress Syndrome."
QUEBEC, Jan. 6, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - VARIUM, a consulting firm in social
marketing, released today the results of the fifth wave of a survey on
changes in eating habits related to risks or benefits of food. This
latest survey reveals a revolution in eating habits since 2004.
Five (5) surveys have allowed questioning a total of 1604 adults on
their eating habits. The one in 2011 was conducted among 300 adults in
the census metropolitan area of Montreal in order to measure their
changes in choice of food in relation to 10 risks (such as mad cow
disease, trans fats, salt...) and 10 benefits (such as Omega-3, dietary
"Only between 2007 and 2011, the index increased significantly.", says
François Houde, social marketing expert and founder of VARIUM. Overall
this is 90.0% of respondents in 2007 and 2011 that have changed their
eating habits based on a risk or benefit of food. Note that the Food
Stress Index is the sum of decisions not to buy or not to eat some food
when it is related to a risk or, conversely, decisions to buy or to eat
some food when it is associated with one of the scale's benefits.
In 2011, the FSI average 9.5. In other words, these are 9.5 changes in
eating habits, from the 20 statements, being undertaken by respondents
in 2011. In 2007, the FSI stood at 8.5. The increase from 2007 to 2011
In 2011, the average food stress generated by a risk (FSIR), has rose
significantly compared to 2004, from 2.81 to 3.52. Thus in 2011, 83.2%
of those surveyed have decided not to buy or not to consume a food
because it was linked to at least one dietary risk compared to 77.5% in
In contrast, 93.2% of respondents from 2011, against 87.0% in 2007,
claimed to have purchased or consumed a food to enjoy its benefits.
Thus, the average Food Stress Index, generated by a benefit (FSIB),
also increased significantly from 5.1, in 2007, to 5.99, in 2011.
"What we have called the Food Stress Syndrome, is a phenomenon commonly
present in society. The frequency of changes in consumer eating habits
shows that they comply more and more with a social norm of "healthy
eating" spread by the media, according to which eater must avoid risk
and seek benefits of food. This finding cannot be neglected by
manufacturers, retailers and by heads of agencies involved in
prevention in the health sector. Finally, finding the balance between
consumer demand and food supply coming from the industry must go
through identification and comprehensive analysis of needs and
expectations of eater in addition to cooperation among stakeholders."
according to François Houde.
The latest survey on food stress was carried out by BIP, on behalf of
VARIUM, between the 8th to the 11th of March, 2011.
In business since 1998, formerly known as ISA - Marketing & Management
Division, VARIUM is a consulting firm offering expertise in behavioral
and lifestyle changes for the purpose of promoting wellness.
For further information:
Summary of the study can be found at www.varium.ca; for interviews François Houde, President, VARIUM, (418) 845-3338 or (418) 928-8803