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Understanding Consumer Behaviour Related to Food Choice


Why individuals eat what they do and the subsequent health consequences of those choices is a major national and international priority now and for the foreseeable future. This enormous subject can and is being approached from many perspectives: biological, genetic and economic. The psychological and sociological perspectives of food choice and health are essential dimensions in aiding our understanding. The sciences of complexity show us that we are embedded in a world fundamentally different from that which has previously characterised modern science, with its emphasis on prediction and control. <P>Complexity techniques are already employed at IFR with regards to understanding collective dynamics (from microbial populations to sand piles), comparison and combination of distinct food safety information sources, and modelling with network methods. We plan to mesh this existing in-house expertise in mathematics / complexity with IFRs psycho-social and biological expertise to develop and apply the science of complexity to current social problems related to food.

Institute of Food Research, UK
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