How to Encourage Individual Contributions to Reduce Food Borne Risks

Johannes Simons, Anne Katrin Lensch


Many areas of precautionary health policy require cooperation of citizens, e.g. avoiding health risks through an adequate diet. A common approach to achieve the necessary cooperation is providing people with information on risk and, consequently, encouraging them to change their behaviour. This paper explains the limits of such educational approach. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews; the results are presented as costs and benefits of perceiving and processing information. This helps to identify driving factors as well as obstacles for implementing information into behaviour. As a result, this paper recommends improving the efficacy of the educational approach in particular by (1) adapting information better to consumers' needs, and (2) using attractive images to point out the benefits of behavioural changes. Another way to facilitate a healthier diet is to offer products, which hardly require a change in behaviour, e.g. functional food or "healthy" fast food. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0601153


impacts of information; education; health risks; food and diet; cost and benefit

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Copyright (c) 2006 Johannes Simons, Anne Katrin Lensch

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