Please join us for our next IM Public Lecture. No RSVP required.

Choosing Food: Exploring Consumers' Use of Ingredient Information

Mark McCumber
Public Services Librarian, New Brunswick Public Library Service

Lecture Details
Thursday 25th February 2016 from 5:35 pm-6:35 pm
Rowe 3001, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Avenue

Abstract: Food labelling is designed to help consumers make better food choices. Understanding how this information is used becomes increasingly important as relationships between diet and diseases are recognized. Research on food label use has left the list of ingredients under-explored, despite its identification as an important component of the food label. As an internal cognitive process, information use during food choices is difficult to measure without influencing behaviour. This lecture will present the results of mixed-methods research designed to gain insight into cognitive and behavioural aspects of food choices. A survey measured self-reported nutrition behaviours of 518 university students. A screening tool identified surveyed volunteers likely to use ingredient information, 11 of which completed a simulated shopping task that produced rich qualitative data relating to food label information use. A theoretical approach to thematic analysis revealed that participants focused on avoidance of negatives when making food choices, employing various strategies to accomplish this goal.

Biography: Mark McCumber graduated from the MLIS program at Dalhousie in 2015. For a devoted vegetarian and conscious consumer who is eternally suspicious of our food production industries, it was the natural choice to incorporate some aspect of food security into his pursuit of the MLIS. Having become intrigued by the study of information seeking behaviour, he determined to combine this field with his natural interests, designing a study intended to explore how people use food label information when making food choices. Mark currently works for New Brunswick Public Library Services as the Public Services Librarian for the York Region. Residing in Fredericton, New Brunswick, he still reads every food label of products that he's considering purchasing, as well as many that he is not, and is somewhat dissatisfied that he can only wear denim on Fridays and weekends.

NOTE: We encourage you to attend in person, but if that is not possible you can access an audio recording + slides on our website following the lecture (a notice will be sent when posted). Web streaming is not currently available.

The Information Management Public Lectures give attention to exciting advances in research and professional practice. The topics are diverse reflecting the importance and global extent of Information Management in today's society. The lectures are open to all members of the Dalhousie campus and surrounding community. When feasible, recordings of the lectures are posted for wider circulation. For the full schedule, visit the Public Lecture page of our website here<>.

Kim Humes, BPR
Administrative Assistant
School of Information Management
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Suite 4010
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Tel: 902.494.3656
Fax: 902.494.2451
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