"Food habits are evolving at an unprecedented rate, giving birth to a new
phenomenon: the Food Stress Syndrome."
MONTREAL, Oct. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The Communication Division of
nutritional counselling firm ISA today released the results of the fourth part
of a survey on changes in eating habits related to the risks or benefits
associated with various foods. This last survey shows a profound upheaval in
eating habits over the past few years.
In the course of the four (4) surveys, a total of 1,304 adults were
questioned about their eating habits. The most recent survey reached 300
adults in the Montreal census metropolitan area in order to assess changes in
eating habits associated with a list of 10 risks (mad cow disease, trans fats,
avian flu, etc.) and 10 benefits (omega-3s, fibre, probiotics, etc.).
"Compared to 2004, the results this year show a significant increase in
food stress in connection with the risk associated with certain foods," says
Isabelle Paquet, registred dietitian and founder of ISA. In Montreal in 2007,
the average food stress generated by a given risk had risen significantly
compared to 2004, from 2.81 to 3.44. Food stress is measured by adding up
decisions not to buy or not to eat a food product when it is associated with
one of 10 risks identified on a measurement scale developed with the help of a
dietitian. In 2007, 85.2% of the people surveyed had decided not to buy or not
to eat a food product because it was associated with dietary risk, compared to
77.5% in 2004. Conversely, in 2007 87.0% of respondents said they had bought
or eaten a food because of its benefits. Overall, 92.0% of the people surveyed
in 2007 had changed their eating habits because of risks or benefits
associated with food. On average, 2007 respondents had made 8.5 changes in
their eating habits in relation to the 10 risks and 10 benefits identified on
the measurement scale.
Compared to 2004, four risk-related issues had a greater impact in 2007:
"hydrogenated or trans fats" (+17.9 points), "high salt content" (+15.2
points), "high sugar content" (+12.8 points) and "fruits and vegetables and
fear of pesticides" (+6.2 points).
"Science makes progress in explaining the benefits or risks associated
with food. The media increase their coverage of these scientific findings, and
people experience more and more pressure to change their eating habits. This
is the definition of food stress," added Paquet.
According to the most recent survey, 65.7% of respondents who had
attempted to change one of their habits had done so mainly "to reduce the risk
of developing a specific health condition or illness". Only 13.8% of the 2007
respondents said they had made the change "to follow the medical advise of
"Food stress is not the exclusive preserve of older people whose health
is fragile. Healthy eating is also a concern shared by every person who wants
to stay healthy," noted Paquet.
The most recent survey on food stress was carried out by Echo Sondage Inc
on behalf of ISA between Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 19,
Founded in 1995, ISA is a consulting firm specialising in nutrition and
working in three sectors: Food Service Management and Computerisation,
Communication, and Marketing Research. The mission of the Communication
Division is to offer the services of registred dietitians in order to promote
health through healthy eating habits.
For further information:
For further information: Results Summary at www.isa-nutrition.com;
interviews: Isabelle Paquet, registered dietitian, ISA, Communication
Division, (450) 448-8803; François Houde, consultant, ISA, Marketing Research
Division, (450) 448-8803