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Increasing pulse consumption

Increasing pulse consumption

Samenvatting

If the world wants to reverse climate change, a dietary change is inevitable (Ranganathan et al., 2016; Willett et al., 2019). The UN puts a lot of trust in the role of pulses in addressing the environmental and social issues of these times. Currently, consumption patterns around the world include too much animal protein. Animal-based protein generally has a higher environmental impact than protein derived from grain and vegetables, including pulses (Ranganathan et al., 2016; Willett et al., 2019). Next to that, a growing body of evidence is supporting the healthiness of eating pulses. Consuming pulses has already been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (Hall et al., 2016; Havemeier et al., 2017). Furthermore, they offer great nutritional value for money (Drewnowski, 2010b, 2010a; Zanovec et al., 2011). Potentially, increasing pulse consumption could lower the environmental impact of diets and solve health inequity. Within the Netherlands, pulse consumption frequency is three times below and a 100 grams short on a weekly basis compared to the standard recommended by the Dutch Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum, 2020a). In order to allow public institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the pulse industry to increase pulse consumption in the Netherlands, this study aimed to identify factors influencing pulse consumption in the Netherlands. A web-based questionnaire was set-up in Google Forms and the following factors were tested: consumption frequency, meat-reducing diets, competence, belief in health benefits, different attitudes, preferred pulse characteristics, and demographic factors. Data collection took place between June 29th and July 26th, 2020. The questionnaire was published using Facebook and LinkedIn. The data were analysed through cross-tabulations and tested with Pearson’s chi-square. The belief in health benefits, existing out of seven statements, had a Cronbach’s alpha of 0,777 and thus was additionally analysed as a scale measure. The analysis was performed using SPSS 26. In total 321 responses were obtained. The sample had an overrepresentation of people between 15 and 34, women, bachelor degrees, and low and medium-income groups. With regards to income, a large number of missing values was noted. Significant correlations were found between pulse consumption frequency and the following factors: following a meat reducing diet, competence, belief in health benefits, and 3 of the 4 tested attitudes. Following a meat reducing diet and an increased feeling of competence was linked to an increased pulse consumption frequency. Although most respondents reacted neutrally to the statements of health benefits, which implies unawareness of the health benefits, an increased belief in the health benefits was correlated with an increased pulse consumption frequency. Agreeing with the environmental friendliness and tastiness of pulses was linked to an increased pulse consumption, whereas agreeing with pulses being the poor man’s meat was linked to a decreased pulse consumption. It can be concluded that following a diet focused on meat reduction, competence, knowledge about the healthiness, environmental friendliness, and finding pulses tasty are all positively correlated with an increased pulse consumption frequency. The low sensory appeal, price, and finding pulses the ‘poor man’s meat’ are barriers to increasing pulse consumption. No demographic influences on pulse consumption were found. However, because of the limitations of this research influence of demographic factors on pulse consumption can not be ruled out. Based on these findings, non-governmental organizations, public institutions, and the pulse industry could adjust their messaging to try to increase pulse consumption.

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OrganisatieAeres Hogeschool
AfdelingBedrijfskunde en Agribusiness
PartnerAeres University of Applied Sciences Dronten
Datum2020-08-23
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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