The present research examines the factors that influence the estimation of appropriate consumption frequency, an area which remains surprisingly under-researched. The study recruited 500 Spanish participants (50% female/25-70 years) online for a product perception survey. Participants were asked to estimate the appropriate consumption frequency for ten fresh dairy products, including yogurts.
Inferential beliefs influence daily yogurt consumption
Compared to dietary guidelines, participants underestimated the appropriate frequency of consumption for yogurt. Only 16.9% of the yogurts (including regular yogurts and yogurts with health claims) were ranked as appropriate for daily consumption by participants. These estimations deviated from dietary guidelines, which consider that 100% of these yogurts should have been ranked in this way. This might be explained by the need for variety, inferential beliefs and difficulties in interpreting dietary guidelines. More specifically, participants underestimated both the appropriate consumption frequency of regular yogurts (13.4%) and yogurts with health claims (25.8%). However, for desserts, the appropriate consumption frequency was correctly estimated: participants ranked 97.3% of the desserts as occasional, which is in line with dietary recommendations.