Self-identities and BMI of minnesotan soy consumers and non-consumers

Tamara Schryver, Chery Smith, Melanie Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify self-identities among mainstream and natural foods shoppers and the relationship of these self-identities to soy consumption and BMI. We hypothesized that soy consumers (SCs) would have lower BMIs than non-consumers (NCs) and that persons who self-identify themselves as SCs, natural foods, organic foods, health conscious, whole foods consumers, and vegetarians would have higher intakes of soy. Research Methods and Procedures: A validated soy foods frequency questionnaire was administered to 298 adult mainstream and natural foods grocery store shoppers in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. An additional survey gathered information on consumers' self-identification with several dietary and lifestyle descriptors. Principal component analysis was used to extract factors representing overarching self-identities. Correlation coefficients between derived scales for each factor and BMI and soy servings per week were generated using a Spearman correlation. One-way ANOVA was used to test significance between derived scales for factors and demographic variables and store type. Multiple regression models were used to test association between derived scales and BMI and soy servings per week while adjusting for demographic covariates. Results: Asians and those who shopped at natural food grocery stores consumed more soy foods and had lower BMIs than other ethnicities or those who shopped at mainstream grocery stores. Five overarching self-identities were found: vegetarian, mainstream, nouveau gourmet, pleasure, and bargain. Vegetarian and nouveau gourmet self-identities consumed significantly greater amounts of soy foods and had significantly lower BMIs, whereas mainstream self-identities consumed significantly less soy foods and had significantly higher BMIs. Discussion: Self-identities influence soy food consumption and BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1106
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • BMI
  • Consumption
  • Self-identity
  • Shopping
  • Soy

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