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Study title – Is the title clear, accurate

The focus of the research is communicated in the title of the article by Hoek et al. (2017). It draws attention to the research being done on consumer perspectives on eating habits that are both environmentally friendly and healthful. The study's objectives are succinctly summarised in the title, which is unambiguous. The mention of variables of interest such as healthy and ecologically friendly eating behaviors, makes the research's purpose evident.

According to Hoek et al. (2017), there was a critical need to comprehend consumer attitudes and perceptions regarding eating habits that are both environmentally friendly and healthful. The study sought to inform practices and policies that encourage consumers to adopt eco-friendly behaviors. The goal was to identify opportunities to promote behaviors such as reducing overconsumption, choosing nutrient-dense foods, favoring plant-based options, and minimising food waste. This research is crucial for sustainable food production in global environmental challenges and the potential risks to population health (Hoek et al., 2017).

Hoek et al. (2017) provide a comprehensive literature review that effectively highlights the purpose and significance of the research by discussing how food choices affect health and the environment. It also emphasises the need for consumer insights to support policies that encourage environmentally friendly and healthful behavior. It also addresses the evolving landscape of dietary guidelines, with a growing emphasis on considering environmental factors alongside nutritional science (Lubowiecki-Vikuk et al., 2021). It demonstrates an understanding of research landscape and sets foundation for study's objectives and contributions to the field.

 Yes, the qualitative research design approach was appropriate for this study. The researcher justified using qualitative interviews as it allows for an in-depth exploration of consumer perceptions, experiences, attitudes, and underlying motives related to healthy and environmentally friendly food behaviors (Pinto et al., 2021). The approach aligns with the aim of uncovering the "why" behind consumer behavior, delving into subjective experiences and values. The researcher also employed projective techniques to elicit participants' unconscious feelings or thoughts, enhancing the study's depth (Hackett et al., 2023). A professional web-based interview tool with multimedia capabilities facilitated the online interviews, making it convenient for participants from different regions of Australia.

(a) The setting for participant selection was an opt-in consumer research panel from a professional market research agency, which gave access to a varied pool of potential participants from various Australian states and regions (Hoek et al., 2017). A wide range of viewpoints could be represented as a result. A specialised interview tool that provided webcam, audio, and chat features for efficient communication was used to conduct the interviews online.

(b) A number of steps were involved in selecting the subjects. Initially, the study's specific focus was kept a secret when recruiting participants from the opt-in consumer research panel. According to Hoek et al. (2017), this was done to reduce selection bias and guarantee a range of involvement levels with healthy and environmentally friendly eating habits. Three categories of involvement were subsequently applied to the participants and quota sampling guaranteed a range of socio-demographic backgrounds for every level of involvement.

Ethical considerations were carefully addressed. Participants were provided with clear instructions and informed about the preparatory task, purpose and tools before the interview. The study received approval from the human ethics committees at the University of Canberra, Australian National University, and Deakin University. Participants' privacy and confidentiality were also maintained throughout the study.

The primary method of data collection used by the researcher was qualitative interviews. The methods and instruments utilised for semi-structured virtual face-to-face interviews using GroupQuality®, were fully explained. The rationale behind this method choice was the need to reach participants from various Australian states and regions while minimising inconvenience and travel burden. With one exception, a corrupted recording file, field notes were used in place of audio recordings of the interviews as the primary data source (Hoek et al., 2017).

The researcher's perspective in this study was to understand consumers' subjective experiences and perceptions regarding healthy and environmentally friendly food behaviors. They employed qualitative research methods and projective techniques to explore underlying motives, values, attitudes, and emotions related to these behaviors (Holmes, 2020). The researcher took steps to minimise potential biases and influences, allowing participants to engage from their homes comfortably with the help of a trained Australian interviewer (Hoek et al., 2017).

To analyse the data, the researcher implemented deductive coding scheme based on the discussion guide and the modified Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) Model's constructs. New topics were able to emerge because they also used an inductive approach. Dedoose®, a program for qualitative data analysis, was utilised to help organise and manage the data (Hoek et al., 2017).

While the article describes the coding process, it lacks in-depth detail on how specific categories or themes were derived from the data. There is no mention of direct participant quotes in the provided summary, which could impact the thoroughness of the analysis (Hoek et al., 2017).

The study by Hoek et al. (2017) reveals distinct consumer attitudes and motivations toward recommended food behaviors, supported by comprehensive evidence and analysis of the interplay between health, environmental friendliness, and consumer behavior. The research acknowledges consumers' limited awareness of the environmental impact of food choices, enhancing the findings' credibility. However, there is room for further discussion on result credibility, and involving multiple analysts in data analysis could strengthen conclusions. In terms of the clinical importance, the study underscored the need for tailored interventions promoting healthier, environmentally sustainable dietary choices to enhance overall quality of life (Vermeir et al., 2020).

The research suggests a significant gap in consumer awareness and consideration regarding the environmental impact of food choices compared to their focus on health. This is supported by the finding that participants showed higher motivation towards behaviors primarily associated with health, such as consuming less processed and packaged foods. It shows that participants were reluctant to adopt more sustainable dietary practices, as evidenced by their noticeably negative attitude toward increasing plant-based foods and decreasing animal-derived products (Hoek et al., 2017).

This study significantly advances our understanding of environmentally friendly and healthful eating habits. Hoek et al. (2017) shed light on effective communication strategies for these principles. By comparing attitudes toward health and environmental concerns, the study identifies areas for targeted interventions. Emphasizing the impact of contextual factors, such as the grocery shopping environment, the research offers valuable insights with broader applicability beyond its Australian focus. The findings guides future interventions for promoting sustainable and healthy eating habits on a global scale.

References

Hackett, P. M., Suvak, J. M., & Gordley-Smith, A. (2023). Projective Techniques and Sort-Based Research Methods . Taylor & Francis.

Hoek, A. C., Pearson, D., James, S. W., Lawrence, M. A., & Friel, S. (2017). Shrinking the food-print: A qualitative study into consumer perceptions, experiences and attitudes towards healthy and environmentally friendly food behaviors. Appetite , 108 , 117–131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.030

Holmes, A. G. (2020). Researcher positionality - A consideration of its influence and place in qualitative research - A new researcher guide. Shanlax International Journal of Education, 8 (4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.34293/ education.v8i4.3232

Lubowiecki-Vikuk, A., Dąbrowska, A., & Machnik, A. (2021). Responsible consumer and lifestyle: Sustainability insights. Sustainable Production and Consumption , 25 , 91–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2020.08.007

‌Pinto, V. R. A., Campos, R. F. de A., Rocha, F., Emmendoerfer, M. L., Vidigal, M. C. T. R., da Rocha, S. J. S. S., Lucia, S. M. D., Cabral, L. F. M., de Carvalho, A. F., & Perrone, Í. T. (2021). Perceived healthiness of foods: A systematic review of qualitative studies. Future Foods , 4 , 100056. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fufo.2021.100056

Vermeir, I., Weijters, B., De Houwer, J., Geuens, M., Slabbinck, H., Spruyt, A., Van Kerckhove, A., Van Lippevelde, W., De Steur, H., & Verbeke, W. (2020). Environmentally sustainable food consumption: A review and research agenda from a goal-directed perspective. Frontiers in Psychology , 11 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01603

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