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Safety vs. Sustainability Concerns of Infant Food Users: French Results and European Perspectives

Abstract : Context. In line with Sustainable Development Goals 3 “Good health and well-being” and 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”, this paper is concerned with the fragile population of the less-than-3-years-old children. More specifically, it investigates how infant food safety is perceived at the household level and at the level of childhood and health professionals directly in contact with them. Objective. The paper aims to analyze consumer priorities and perceptions of hazards in infant foods qualitatively and quantitatively. Methodology. To do so, a survey was carried out in France on 1750 people representative of the general population. A hybrid method is proposed to analyze the results of the survey, mixing artificial intelligence and statistics. Main insights. Within the declared priorities when choosing infant food, health comes first, with a top ranking for the absence of harmful substances, followed closely by nutritional balance—far ahead of environment, ease of use and price. The results show that the rankings of the hazards that cause the most worry are globally homogeneous throughout the populations (families, professionals, etc.) and higher for chemical contaminants from agricultural practices and packaging. For health professionals, concerns are higher than in the general population for all categories of contaminants, and specific concerns such as risk related to environmental and unknown contaminants are much more prevalent. The perception of risk varies with the food considered. For infant formula in particular, users seem puzzled by somehow contradictory messages. Perspectives. The study is intended to be generalized to Europe.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 13, 2021 - 10:46:15 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 17, 2021 - 3:09:07 AM

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Amélie Kurtz, Rallou Thomopoulos. Safety vs. Sustainability Concerns of Infant Food Users: French Results and European Perspectives. Sustainability, MDPI, 2021, 13 (18), pp.10074. ⟨10.3390/su131810074⟩. ⟨hal-03342061⟩

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