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Dietary patterns in Irish adolescents: a comparison of cluster and principal component analyses

  • Áine P Hearty (a1) and Michael J Gibney (a1)

Abstract

Objective

Pattern analysis of adolescent diets may provide an important basis for nutritional health promotion. The aims of the present study were to examine and compare dietary patterns in adolescents using cluster analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) and to examine the impact of the format of the dietary variables on the solutions.

Design

Analysis was based on the Irish National Teens Food Survey, in which food intake data were collected using a semi-quantitative 7 d food diary. Thirty-two food groups were created and were expressed as either g/d or percentage contribution to total energy. Dietary patterns were identified using cluster analysis (k-means) and PCA.

Setting

Republic of Ireland, 2005–2006.

Subjects

A representative sample of 441 adolescents aged 13–17 years.

Results

Five clusters based on percentage contribution to total energy were identified, ‘Healthy’, ‘Unhealthy’, ‘Rice/Pasta dishes’, ‘Sandwich’ and ‘Breakfast cereal & Main meal-type foods’. Four principal components based on g/d were identified which explained 28 % of total variance: ‘Healthy foods’, ‘Traditional foods’, ‘Sandwich foods’ and ‘Unhealthy foods’.

Conclusions

A ‘Sandwich’ and an ‘Unhealthy’ pattern are the main dietary patterns in this sample. Patterns derived from either cluster analysis or PCA were comparable, although it appears that cluster analysis also identifies dietary patterns not identified through PCA, such as a ‘Breakfast cereal & Main meal-type foods’ pattern. Consideration of the format of the dietary variable is important as it can directly impact on the patterns obtained for both cluster analysis and PCA.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email Aine.Hearty@ucd.ie

References

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Keywords

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Supplementary Tables

Hearty Supplementary Table A
Supplemental table A. Description of foods contained within each food group used in the present study

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Supplementary materials

Hearty Supplementary Table B
Supplemental table B. Comparison of the dietary patterns derived by cluster and principal component analysis (PCA) methods in Irish adolescents using two forms of the dietary variable, g/day and percentage contribution to daily energy intake

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Dietary patterns in Irish adolescents: a comparison of cluster and principal component analyses

  • Áine P Hearty (a1) and Michael J Gibney (a1)

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