Understanding Food Preferences and Their Connection to Health Perception among Lean and Non-Lean Populations in a Rural State

  • Mark Menghini School of Pharmacy, University of Wyoming
  • Reshmi Singh School of Pharmacy, University of Wyoming
  • Baskaran Thyagarajan School of Pharmacy, University of Wyoming
Keywords: spicy food, food preference, lean, non-lean, population study, qualitative analysis


Lipid metabolism and dietary choices directly affect the outcome of overall weight management in both lean and non-lean individuals. However, the perception of consuming spicy foods has diverse meaning among people. To understand this, it is essential to have thorough knowledge on how food preference is tied to health outcomes. The aim of this study is to enhance the understanding of how food preference affects the health outcome and perception in lean and non-lean populations. A mixed methods study was conducted via analysis of consumers’ food choices and compared the data based on age, gender, and body weight. The participants in audio recorded interviews were comprised of residents from a single town in a rural state. The study shows that most participants were aware of the implications that food choices had on their health status and it emphasizes the importance of understanding the differences between consumption of spicy and non-spicy foods. Spicy food consumption was associated with decreased overall portion size as well as increased satisfaction following the meal. Environmental factors, such as the influence of family and friends, impacted spicy food consumption according to most participants. The outcome of the study provides a comprehensive understanding of food preferences from a relatively large exploratory study. The observations made here show rudimentary associations between physical attributes and levels of food consumption. Future studies could further identify how certain attributes relate to food choices and levels of spicy food consumption in greater detail.


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Received 2020-09-09
Accepted 2020-10-21
Published 2020-12-03
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research