Condition category
Nutritional, Metabolic, Endocrine
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
People often chose the food they eat according to how healthy it is, how much it costs and convenience. However, it is not really known to what extent an older persons socioeconomic background (for example their wealth, education and/or occupation) affects their food choices. A discrete choice experiment (DCE) - a method of finding out peoples preferences and their reasons for such preferences - is one way to find out why people choose the food that they do. Here, we want to investigate differences in food motives between socioeconomic groups by means of a DCE.

Who can participate?
Healthy adults.

What does the study involve?
A DCE is carried out during a face-to-face interview among older adults as part of the GLOBE cohort study taking part in the Netherlands. Participants are offered a series of choice sets about a usual dinner at home, and are asked, for each choice set, to select one of two meals or neither if they prefer. Each meal has a different combination of five meal attribute levels. That is, each meal varies according to how healthy it is, its taste, preparation time, travel time to shop to buy ingredients and the price. The results are then analysed.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are no risks of taking part in the trial. Each participant receives a gift voucher of 10 euro after participation.

Where is the study run from?
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam (Netherlands)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
March 2012 to March 2014

Who is funding the study?
Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Carlijn Kamphuis

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Carlijn Kamphuis


Contact details

PO Box 80115
3508 TC

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Factors affecting food choices of older adults from high and low socioeconomic groups – a discrete choice experiment


Study hypothesis

The main aim of this study is 1) to determine the relative importance of five meal attributes, namely healthiness, taste, price, travel time for doing groceries, and preparation time, and 2) to determine how low and high socioeconomic groups differ in the relative importance of these five attributes. We hypothesize that high socioeconomic groups find the healthiness of a meal more important than low socioeconomic groups, and that low socioeconomic groups find the price aspect more important that high socioeconomic groups.

Ethics approval

This study was part of the larger GLOBE study (for more information see Van Lenthe et al. Int J Epidemiol. 2014 Jun;43(3):721-30). The use of personal data in the GLOBE study is in compliance with the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act and the Municipal Database Act, and has been registered with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (number 1248943). Members of the medical ethics committee of the Erasmus University Medical Centre were consulted, but no formal approval of the medical ethics committee was required for the study, since no patients were involved in the study, participants took part in the experiment on a voluntary basis, participants were not exposed to an intervention, no physical examination was carried out (participants just answered questions), and no questions about possibly sensitive topics were asked.

Study design

This is an observational study, following the design of a discrete choice experiment (DCE).

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Discrete choice experiment

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet.


Meal choices


Participants were offered a series of 12 choice sets about a usual dinner at home, and, in each of the 12 choice sets, asked to choose between two meals. In each choice set, the two meals were described with regard to five so-called ‘attributes’, namely taste, health concerns, preparation time, travel time to shops, and cost considerations. The levels of these attributes differed between the meals, with three or four levels for each attribute (for instance, price varied between 2, 4, 6 or 8 euro per person, and taste between very good, good and sufficient). Participants were asked, for each choice set, to choose the alternative that appealed most to them.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Relative importance of meal attributes as follows:
1. Healthiness
2. Taste
3. Price
4. Travel time for doing groceries
5. Preparation time

Outcomes were measured by means of the experiment.

Secondary outcome measures

How low and high socioeconomic groups differ in the relative importance of the following meal attributes:
1. Healthiness
2. Taste
3. Price
4. Travel time for doing groceries
5. Preparation time

Outcomes were measured by means of the experiment.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

This DCE was part of the GLOBE study. The GLOBE study is a Dutch cohort study examining the determinants of socioeconomic inequalities in health, and comprises a stratified population-based sample from the southeastern region of the Netherlands. Detailed information about the objectives, design and findings of the GLOBE study are available elsewhere. A new wave of data collection was carried out, including a large-scale survey in 2011, and face-to-face interviews among a subsample of the survey participants (n=399) in 2012. At the end of this interview, a DCE was carried out.

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria


Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Erasmus MC

Sponsor information


Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC

Sponsor details

PO Box 2040
3000 CA

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

The first publication is planned in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by the end of 2014.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2015 results in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes