Food choice and the cultural dynamic in Ireland

Roy Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
308 Downloads (Pure)


Decision making with regards to food choice can be traditionally viewed as an economic transaction, whereby consumers make a choice of which foods they would like to purchase and consume within the framework of how much disposable income they have at any particular time. However, within this framework, research has shown that there is a balance that consumers aim to achieve between the hedonistic qualities of the food and the perceived effects it may have on their health. Consequently, one area that is of significant importance is the concept of how food risks are perceived and how this perception affects the decision-making process. Research has indicated that Irish food consumers use a set of heuristic decision-making tools in order to assist them in making food choices for themselves and their families. These decision-making tools are evoked irrespective of age, gender or social class. This has led to concern (despite numerous health promotion and media campaigns) regarding the national food diet, with imperfections in consumption observed in an increase in obesity, nutritional imbalances and chronic ill health which expose individuals to medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease. The increase risks associated with these are prevalent in Ireland and for many measures Irish consumers rank poorly with other countries in Europe. Although the food choices are predicated by these decision-making tools there are reflections of previous historical dietary choices that persist within the diets pursued today by the majority of Irish consumers. This in addition to the effects of acculturation following recent changes in the demographic structure and the growth global networks for information flow and exchange has resulted in a dynamic food environment with “nutrition echoes” observed in the choices people make.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIreland: Economic, Political and Social Issues
EditorsChristopher Alan Lewis
Place of PublicationHauppauge, New York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62257-924-7
ISBN (Print)978-1622579242
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2013


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