The association between health-related individual traits and dairy avoidance

Moshe Mishali, Mirit Kisner, Naama Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this research is to examine whether health-related personal traits such as hypochondriasis, health behavior and health locus of control can predict dairy avoidance. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical study took place in Israel. The researchers administered questionnaires to gather self-reported data concerning the consumption dairy products in general without making a distinction among different types of dairy (fermented/nonfermented, low fat/high fat etc.). A random sample of 77 participants was recruited from among students at the University of Haifa, after culling out those who declared to have been medically diagnosed with lactose intolerance or dairy allergy. Findings: High health behavior scores were associated with increased likelihood of avoiding milk and dairy products by a factor of 3.92 (OR = 3.92, 95% CI: 1.54–10.02, p = 0.004), whereas external health locus of control was associated with decreased likelihood of shunning milk and dairy (OR = 0.136, 95% CI: 0.032–0.580, p = 0.007). The connection between hypochondriasis and milk avoidance turned out insignificant. Practical implications: The medical establishment should devise ways, means and measures to purvey well-established dietary guidelines for those who are willing to make an effort and invest in their health. Originality/value: This study adds to the burgeoning body of literature seeking to relate personal traits or individual characteristics to a host of lifestyle choices. The most salient finding is that many individuals who perform an array of behaviors they deem beneficial to their health and well-being in an attempt to exercise control over their health, paradoxically run the risk of making uninformed lifestyle decisions including dietary choices – ones that might prove detrimental to their health over the long haul.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2787-2806
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Dairy avoidance
  • Health behavior
  • Health locus of control
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Resistance to dairy consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The association between health-related individual traits and dairy avoidance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this