Individual determinants of fish consumption: application of the theory of planned behaviour

Appetite. 2005 Feb;44(1):67-82. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2004.08.006. Epub 2004 Nov 13.


This study investigates individual determinants of fish consumption behaviour based on cross-sectional data collected in Belgium. Analyses show that determinants as hypothesised by the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and personal characteristics influence fish consumption intention and frequency. Favourable attitude, high subjective norm and high perceived behavioural control have a positive impact on fish consumption decisions. Significant habit effects are detected when including habit as a separate regressor of behavioural intention and behaviour. Appreciation of the attribute taste emerges as the most important driver for eating fish, followed closely by health. Bones and price constitute the negative attitude factor, which, however, does not directly reduce behavioural intention. Individual determinants pertain to gender, age, children, income, education level and region. Fish consumption frequency in compliance with health recommendations is higher among women and increases with increasing age, while the presence of children in the household leads to lower fish consumption. The lowest income class has the lowest fish consumption frequency. Higher education results in a higher intention to eat fish but has no effect on the consumption frequency itself. The coastal region of West Flanders is the region with the highest consumption. Food involvement correlates positively with fish consumption intention and frequency, whereas no significant impact of food-health awareness is found.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Belgium
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health
  • Feeding Behavior* / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior* / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Seafood*
  • Sex Factors
  • Taste / physiology*