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Knowledge, opinions and behaviours related to food and nutrition in Catalonia, Spain (1992–2003)

  • Lluís Serra-Majem (a1) (a2) (a3), Blanca Román-Viñas (a1), Gemma Salvador (a3), Lourdes Ribas-Barba (a1), Joy Ngo (a1), Conxa Castell (a3) and Carmen Cabezas (a3)...

Abstract

Objectives

The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the modification of knowledge, opinions and attitudes to healthy eating, weight perception and dieting practices and preventive habits over a 10-year trend in the Catalan population from 1992 to 2003.

Design

Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out in Catalonia, Spain, during 1992–93 and 2002–03.

Subjects

In all, 2361 individuals in the ENCAT 1992–93 nutritional survey and 2061 individuals in the ENCAT 2002–03 health survey. The subjects’ ages ranged from 10 to 75 years old.

Results

Lettuce and carrots, fish and olive oil were chosen as the healthiest foods in the two Catalan Nutritional Surveys. Although some improvement was reported, a high percentage of the population still thought that bread (31%), potatoes (23%) or olive oil (19%) should be moderated to prevent high blood cholesterol, especially among the youngest individuals. The perception of being overweight increased among males and decreased among females. There was an increase in the percentage of the population following a diet (from 13% to 17%). An increase in the consumption of iodine-enriched salt (from 26% to 40%) was observed as well as of diet supplements, especially among females (from 6% to 13%). The prevalence of males with diabetes increased from 3.4% to 4.5% and the number of individuals with diabetes not following any treatment decreased.

Conclusion

The Catalan population has improved their knowledge of healthy food and health-related attitudes. Nutrition policy should focus on young adults as a key age group for primary prevention of future nutrition-related chronic diseases.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email lserra@dcc.ulpgc.es

References

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