Research Showcase Abstracts

Explore abstracts from CFDR’s annual research showcase at the DC Conference.

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Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors (2022 and Later)
O. Morello1, E. Pellizzari1, M. Erlich1, B. Hartman1

1 School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, London, ON
Beliefs and behaviours associated with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets among Canadians capable of bearing children.
There has been an increase in the popularity of plant-based (e.g., vegan and vegetarian) and gluten-free (GF) diets globally. However, there is a paucity of research investigating the beliefs and behaviours of Canadian adults capable of bearing children
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
To explore the beliefs and behaviours of Canadians capable of bearing children who follow a vegan, vegetarian, and/or gluten-free diet.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
Participants were recruited through social media to complete a 102-item questionnaire designed to assess the beliefs, behaviours, and knowledge associated with a vegan, vegetarian, and/or GF diet. Analysis included response frequencies for quantitative variables and use of open-coding to organize qualitative responses into themes.
271 participants completed the survey, with 27%, 21.8%, and 3.7% indicating they followed a vegan, vegetarian, and GF diet, respectively. Almost ¼ of participants indicated a hesitation to tell others about their current dietary habits. Of these individuals, a fear of judgement and stigma around their diet was the most common theme reported (34.3%). Less than half of the sample (43.9%) reported that they did not consume dairy products. Values/ethics surrounding animals and the environment were the top (32.8%) reasons for abstaining from dairy, with health being the second most common reason (14.3%). Conversely, 31.1% of dairy consumers indicated doing so for health/nutritional benefits. Health also appeared to be the primary driver (36%) for individuals’ desire to follow their diet long-term.
These findings confirm the experience of judgment and stigma among Canadian adults capable of childbearing who follow vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free diets. Further, it highlights the role of health beliefs in the dietary behaviours of these individuals.
Significance to Dietetics
Understanding the beliefs and behaviours of individuals following a vegetarian, vegan, and/or GF diet will allow dietitians to better tailor their counselling to meet the needs of the client.
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