Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Filters applied. Clear all
. 2020 Feb 18;12(2):516.
doi: 10.3390/nu12020516.

Nutrition Policy and Individual Struggle to Eat Healthily: The Question of Public Support

Free PMC article

Nutrition Policy and Individual Struggle to Eat Healthily: The Question of Public Support

Kristin Jürkenbeck et al. Nutrients. .
Free PMC article


The evidence for the effectiveness of nutrition policy interventions is growing. For the implementation of such interventions, social acceptability is crucial. Therefore, this study provides insight into public support for nutrition policy measures such as labelling and taxation. Further it analyses the level of acceptance in a quantitative segmentation approach. A new element to our approach is the comparison of different policy instruments, focusing on the interaction between policy acceptance and the perceived individual struggle to eat healthily. The survey was conducted in November 2017 and a total of 1035 German consumers are included in the data. The results indicate that the majority of German citizens accept nutrition policy interventions. Based on a cluster analysis, five different target groups according to the general acceptance of policy interventions and their own struggle to eat healthily are derived. The five-cluster solution reveals that both consumers who tend to eat a healthy diet as well as those who have problems with their diet support nutritional interventions. This shows that the perceived own struggle to eat healthily does not predict whether consumers accept nutrition policy interventions.

Keywords: acceptability; government; health status; intervention ladder; nutrition policy instruments.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Cluster matrix (mean values). Notes: Numbers are the index values for each cluster, the mean values are added up of each variable and divided by the number of interventions (see Table 4); scale from: −2 = “I do not agree at all” to +2 = “I totally agree”; from left to right: 12% = health-conscious rejecters (4), 12% = health-unconscious rejecter (2), 26% = differentiating supporters (3), 33% = health-conscious advocates (5); 17% = help-seeking advocates (1).

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Finucane M.M., Stevens G.A., Cowan M.J., Danaei G., Lin J.K., Paciorek C.J., Singh G.M., Gutierrez H.R., Lu Y., Bahalim A.N., et al. National, regional, and global trends in body-mass index since 1980: Systematic analysis of health examination surveys and epidemiological studies with 960 country-years and 9.1 million participants. Lancet. 2011;377:557–567. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62037-5. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Afshin A., Penalvo J., Del Gobbo L., Kashaf M., Micha R., Morrish K., Pearson-Stuttard J., Rehm C., Shangguan S., Smith J.D., et al. CVD prevention through policy: A review of mass media, food/menu labeling, taxation/subsidies, built environment, school procurement, worksite wellness, and marketing standards to improve diet. Curr. Cardiol. Rep. 2015;17:98. doi: 10.1007/s11886-015-0658-9. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Branca F., Lartey A., Oenema S., Aguayo V., Stordalen G.A., Richardson R., Arvelo M., Afshin A. Transforming the food system to fight non-Communicable diseases. BMJ. 2019;364:l296. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l296. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Mozaffarian D. Dietary and policy priorities for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity—A Comprehensive Review. Circulation. 2016;133:187–225. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018585. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Effertz T., Engel S., Verheyen F., Linder R. The costs and consequences of obesity in Germany: A new approach from a prevalence and life-cycle perspective. Eur. J. Health Econ. 2016;17:1141–1158. doi: 10.1007/s10198-015-0751-4. - DOI - PubMed