A review of instruments developed to measure food neophobia

Appetite. 2017 Jun 1;113:358-367. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.02.032. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Abstract

Background: Food choices are influenced by an individual's attitude towards foods. Food neophobia may be associated with less variety of diets, inadequate nutrient intake and high product failure rate for new food products entering the market. To quantify the extent of these challenges, instruments to measure the food neophobia in different target groups are needed. Several such instruments with significantly different measurement outcomes and procedures have been developed. This review provides an overview and discusses strengths and weaknesses of these instruments.

Objective: We evaluate strengths and weaknesses of previously developed instruments to measure neophobia and willingness to try unfamiliar foods.

Design: Literature was searched through the databases Web of Science and Google Scholar. We identified 255 studies concerning neophobia and willingness to try unfamiliar foods. Of these, 13 studies encompassing 13 instruments to measure neophobia and willingness to try unfamiliar foods were included in the review. Results are summarized and evaluated with a narrative approach.

Results: In the 13 instruments to assess neophobia and willingness to try unfamiliar foods, 113 to 16.644 subjects aged 2-65 years were involved, scales with 3-7 response categories were used and behavioral validation tests were included in 6 studies.

Conclusions: Several instruments to measure neophobia and willingness to try unfamiliar foods exist. We recommend selecting one or more among the 13 instruments reviewed in this paper to assess relevant aspects of neophobia.

Keywords: Food choice; Food rejection; Neophobia; Novel food; Scale; Unfamiliar food.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet / psychology*
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult