Clin Nutr Res.  2012 Jul;1(1):37-48. 10.7762/cnr.2012.1.1.37.

A Study on Intake of Health Functional Food and Its Related Factors in Adults Living in Busan and Gyeongnam Area

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyungnam University, Changwon 631-701, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to describe the pattern of "health functional food (HFF)" intake and related factors in Busan and Gyeongnam area and provide useful information for health promotion through the use of HFF. Among subjects of this study (n = 634), about 64% of the subjects reported that they are currently taking HFFs or other health foods or had HFFs in the last year. The reason of subjects taking HFF was to maintain and promote their health. They choose HFF by their own judgement or knowledge and the main place of purchasing HFF was the HFF store. Main food sources for promoting health in study subjects were nutrient fortified foods (76.8%), fruit or vegetable extracts (64.8%), HFF (64%), herbs or oriental medicines (29.6%), folk remedies or unidentified remedies (24.9%), respectively. The preference type of the products was capsule and liquid. 60.6% of consumers thought that HFF are expensive. 9.7% of consumers experienced the side effect such as stomachache and gastroenteric trouble. Using logistic regression analysis, the use of HFF was 1.9 times higher in female than male subjects indicating strong association between gender and HFF use. Additionally higher prevalence was found in female subjects for right conception of HFF and distinction of HFF. Interestingly subjects who consume less salts exhibited a higher tendency (-1.5 folds) in HFF intake than who prefer to use salt and seasonings in diets. In total study subjects 83.9% of them have known and heard about definition of the HFF. The major route of acquiring the information about HFF was mass media such as TV, internet and newspapers. Also subjects who had taken HFF exhibited high a proper conception toward the knowledge about 'distinction of HFF'. Taken together education programs considering gender, dietary habit and life style is necessary for consumers to select proper HFF.


Health functional food; Survey; Busan and Gyeongnam area

MeSH Terms

Food Habits
Food, Fortified
Functional Food*
Food, Organic
Health Promotion
Life Style
Logistic Models
Mass Media
Medicine, Traditional


  • Figure 1 Answer of the subjects to the definition of health functional food (%).

  • Figure 2 Answer of the subjects to the source of information about health functional food (%).


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