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The Demand for a Balanced Diet by the Next Generation: New Evidence from a Choice Based Conjoint Analysis

Ekanayake, E.M.M.P.S., Kanuwana, K.G.N. and Edirisinghe, J.C.


Healthy lifestyle, directly and indirectly enhances the socio economic status of people. In this manner, dietary practices in young age will impact adult health, decades from now. Therefore this study attempted to identify the acceptance towards a balanced diet among youth using a choice based Conjoint Analysis. For this, primary data were collected by a pretested questionnaire from a stratified random sample of 200 youth from Kurunegala district representing all 30 Divisional Secretariats. All respondents were presented with a choice set comprised of variations of the “shaped plate” introduced by Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka and considered as the general balanced diet plate suitable for Sri Lankans. Nine choice cards were generated for three “shaped plate” attributes including carbohydrate, protein, vegetables and an additional monetary attribute, price. A Rank Ordered Logistic Regression was used to analyse the results which revealed that all four attributes have shown a significant effect on selecting a diet by youth. In addition to this, the research failed to identify a significant relationship between choice and socio economic variables such as gender and educational level. According to the results, it is obvious that majority of youth considers the price and nutritional value of the diet. This study reveals that Marginal Willingness to Pay values imply an increase in willingness towards protein, vegetables and indicates a less consideration on carbohydrate contain food. Based on the current research, it is reasonable to say Sri Lankan young generation considers price, nutritional value of diet
and shows similar behaviour with global trend.

KEYWORDS: Coping cost, Household production function, Willingness to pay, Water

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