World Journal of Nutrition and Health
ISSN (Print): 2379-7819 ISSN (Online): 2379-7827 Website: Editor-in-chief: Srinivas NAMMI
Open Access
Journal Browser
World Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2015, 3(1), 22-28
DOI: 10.12691/jnh-3-1-4
Open AccessArticle

Food Choice Behaviour among Ghanaians: Implications for Health Promotion

Frank Hayford1, , Matilda Steiner-Asiedu2 and Esther Sakyi-Dawson2

1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

2Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Pub. Date: February 12, 2015

Cite this paper:
Frank Hayford, Matilda Steiner-Asiedu and Esther Sakyi-Dawson. Food Choice Behaviour among Ghanaians: Implications for Health Promotion. World Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2015; 3(1):22-28. doi: 10.12691/jnh-3-1-4


Even though the key drive for eating is hunger, what one chooses to eat is not determined solely by physiological or nutritional needs. Consumers make their purchasing decisions based on a number of factors, hence the need for greater understanding of these determinants to facilitate outcome of successful interventions. The study was to investigate the determinants of food choice behaviour among Ghanaians in the Greater Accra Region. A cross-sectional survey, mainly by questionnaire, was used to source information on socio-demographic, medical history and food choice behaviours of consumers between the ages of 18-75 years who patronize some super markets and shopping malls within the Greater Accra Region. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to examine and assess associations between determinants of food choice behaviour and socio-demographic predictors. All analyses were two-tailed and a 'p' value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Money (cost), time (convenience), adverts and label information were some key determinants that influenced food choice behaviour of most respondents. Females were mostly influenced by nutrition/diet books and food label information as compared to male respondents. Our findings also suggested that respondents with education up to middle school or no formal education were more likely to be influenced by advertisement on mass media compared to those with formal education from the senior high school up to the university levels. Perceived body weight did not influence food choice behaviour much since most participants thought they had normal weight. Socio-economic status, level of education and gender are key determinants of food choice behaviours. These are key factors to be considered to plan interventions to help Ghanaians make better food choices.

food choice behaviour health implications consumer advert food label ghana

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Popkin, B.M. “Global nutrition dynamics: the world is shifting rapidly toward a diet linked with non communicable diseases”. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 2, 289-298. 2006.
[2]  Onis, M. “The use of anthropometry in the prevention of childhood overweight. International Journal of Obesity, 28 (Suppl.), S81-S85.old Hispanic-American children: a pilot study”. J Urban Health, 81: 150-61. 2004.
[3]  World Health Organization. “Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases”. WHO Technical Report Series 797. Geneva: WHO. 1990.
[4]  Jones, G. and Richardson, M. “An objective examination of consumer perception of nutrition information based on healthiness ratings and eye movements”. Public Health Nutrition, 10 (3):238-244. 2007.
[5]  Muth, M. K. “Theme overview: addressing the obesity challenge, Choices”, The magazine. 2010.
[6]  World Health Organization. “Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases”. Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Technical Report Series 916. WHO Geneva. 2002.
[7]  Grunert, K.G. and Wills, J.M. “A review of European research on consumer response to nutrition information on food labels”. Journal of Public Health. 15: 385-399. 2007.
[8]  Arsenault, J.E. “Can nutrition labelling affect obesity?” Choices, The magazine of food, farm and resources issues. 3rd Quarter 2010 | 25(3). 2010
[9]  De Irala-Estevez, J., Groth, M., Johansson L., Oltersdorf, U., Prattala, R. and Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A. “A systematic review of socioeconomic differences in food habits in Europe: consumption of fruit and vegetables”. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54: 706-714. 2000.
[10]  Duyff, R.L. Food Nutrition Guide, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY. 1998
[11]  Sanlier N. “Evaluation of food purchasing behaviour of consumers from supermarkets”. British Food Journal Vol. 112 No. 2, 2010 pp. 140-150. 2010.
[12]  Lange, C., Rousseau, F. and Issanchou, S. “Expectation, liking and purchase behaviour under economical constraint”. Food Quality Preference, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 31-9. 1999.
[13]  Wilson, P.G., Cuvo, A.J. and Davis, P.K.. “Training a functional skill cluster: nutritious meal planning within a budget, grocery list writing, and shopping”. Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 179-201. 1986.
[14]  Li-Cohen, A.E. and Bruhn, C.M. “Safety of consumer handling of fresh produce from the time of purchase to the plate: a comprehensive consumer survey”. Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 65, pp. 1287-96. 2002.
[15]  Suri, R., Long, M. and Monroe, K.B. “The impact of the internet and consumer motivation on evaluation of prices”. Journal of Business Research, Vol. 56 No. 5, pp. 379-90. 2003.
[16]  Goktolga, Z.G., Bal, S.G. and Karkacier, O. “Factors effecting primary choice of consumers in food purchasing: the Turkey case.” Food Control, Vol. 17 No. 11, pp. 884-9. 2006.
[17]  Unusan, N. “Consumer food safety knowledge and practices in the home in Turkey”. Food Control, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 45-51. 2007
[18]  Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Wheatley, V., Schaffner, D., Bruhn, C., Blalock, L. and Maurer, J. “Development of food safety psychosocial questionnaires for young adults”. Journal of Food Science Education, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 30-7. 2007.
[19]  Glanz, K., Kristal, A.R., Tilley, B.C. and Hirst, K. “Psychosocial correlates of healthful diets among male auto workers”. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 7: 119-126. 1998.
[20]  Petty, R.E. and Cacioppo, J.T.”The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion”. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 19, pp. 123-205. 1986.
[21]  Abbott, R.. “Food and nutrition information: a study of sources, uses, and understanding”. British Food Journal, Vol. 99 No. 2, pp. 43-9. 1997.
[22]  Shine, A., O’Reilly, S. and O’Sullivan, K. “Consumer attitudes to nutrition labeling”. British Food Journal, Vol. 99 Iss: 8, pp.283-289. 1997.
[23]  Singla, M. “Usage and understanding of food and nutritional labels among Indian consumers”. British Food Journal Vol. 112 No. 1, 2010 pp. 83-92. 2010.
[24]  Kearney, M., Jearney, J.M., Dunne, A. and Gibney, M.J. “Socio demographic determinants of perceived influences on food choice in a nationally representative sample of Irish adults”. Public Health Nutrition. 3 (2): 219-226. 2000.
[25]  Rimal, A., Fletcher, S.M., McWatters, K.H., Misra, S.K. and Deodhar, S. “Perception of food safety changes in food consumptions habits: a consumer analysis”. International Journal of Consumer Studies. Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 43-52. 2001.
[26]  Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Wong, A. and Cottee, P. “Consumer understanding of US and EU nutrition labels”. British Food Journal. Vol. 102 No. 8, pp. 615-29. 2000a
[27]  Rodolfo, M. and Nayga, R.M. Jr. “Nutrition knowledge, gender and food label use”. Journal of Consumer Affairs. Vol. 34 No. 16, pp. 97-102. 2000.
[28]  Turk-Incel, E. Yetis¸kin tu¨keticilerin besin gu¨venlig˘ i konusundaki bilgi ve davranıs¸ları, Master’s thesis, Hacettepe University, Ankara. 2005.
[29]  Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Alfieri, L. and Kiefer, L. “The nutrition label knowledge and usage behaviours of women in the USA”. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 315-22. 2000 b.