Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Motivations for healthful dietary change

  • Jessie A Satia (a1), Alan R Kristal (a1), Susan Curry (a2) and Elyse Trudeau (a3)

Abstract

Objective:

To describe scales that measure motivations for changing dietary behaviour, and to examine associations of these scales with current diet and dietary change.

Design:

A secondary analysis of a randomised trial of a self-help intervention to promote lower fat and higher fruit and vegetable consumption.

Participants and setting: Participants were 1205 adults selected at random from enrolees of a large Health Maintenance Organization. At baseline, data were collected on motives for changing diet, fruit and vegetable intake, fat-related dietary habits, and demographic characteristics. Participants were then randomised to receive the intervention or to receive no materials. A follow-up survey was administered at 12 months.

Results:

A majority of participants reported that it was very important to make dietary changes to feel better (72%) and to control an existing medical problem (57%), but very few (4%) were motivated by pressure from others. Factor analysis of the diet motivation items yielded two intrinsic (‘self-image’ and ‘personal health’) and one extrinsic (‘social pressure’) scales with fair internal consistency reliabilities (Cronbach's α = 0.59 to 0.68). Motivation scales were statistically significantly associated with demographic characteristics and baseline diet. For example, desire for a better self-image was a stronger motivator for changing diet among females, while personal health was more important to older persons and men (P < 0.001). Social pressure to change diet was statistically significantly associated with higher fat intake (r = 0.11) and self-image was associated with lower fat intake (r = −0.14, both P < 0.001). Motivation by social pressure and self-image were both significantly associated with greater fat reduction at 12 months post-intervention (P < 0.05).

Conclusions:

The intrinsic and extrinsic motivation scales were weakly associated with current diet and predicted response to dietary intervention. More research is needed to better characterise and measure motives for dietary change, and to test whether tailoring interventions based on individuals' motives for dietary change would improve intervention effectiveness.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Motivations for healthful dietary change
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Motivations for healthful dietary change
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Motivations for healthful dietary change
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email jsatia@fhcrc.org

References

Hide All
1Pollard, TM, Steptoe, A, Wardle, J. Motives underlying healthy eating: using the food choice questionnaire to explain variation in dietary intake. J. Biosoc. Sci. 1998; 30: 165–79.
2Glanz, K, Patterson, RE, Kristal, AR, Feng, Z, Linnan, L, Heimendinger, J, Hebert, JR. Impact of work site health promotion on stages of dietary change: the Working Well Trial. Health Educ. Behav. 1998; 25: 448–63.
3Trudeau, E, Kristal, AR, Li, S, Patterson, RE. Demographic and psychosocial predictors of fruit and vegetable intakes differ: implications for dietary interventions. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 1998; 98: 1412–7.
4Patterson, RE, Kristal, AR, White, E. Do beliefs, knowledge, and perceived norms about diet and cancer predict dietary change? Am. J. Public Health 1996; 86: 1394–400.
5Kloeblen, AS, Batish, SS. Understanding the intention to permanently follow a high folate diet among a sample of low-income pregnant women according to the Health Belief Model. Health Educ. Res. 1999; 14: 327–38.
6Schafer, RB, Keith, PM, Schafer, E. Predicting fat in diets of marital partners using the health belief model. J. Behav. Med. 1995; 18: 419–33.
7Strychar, IM, Potvin, L, Pineault, R, Pineau, R, Prevost, D. Changes in knowledge and food behavior following a screening program held in a supermarket. Can. J. Public Health 1993; 84: 382–8.
8Strecher, VJ, Rosenstock, IM. The Health Belief Model. In: Glanz, K, Lewis, FM, Rimer, BK, eds. Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997.
9Calder, BJ, Shaw, BM. The interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: some methodologic notes. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 1975; 31: 7680.
10Deci, EL, Ryan, RM. Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. New York: Plenum Press, 1985.
11Curry, SJ, Grothaus, L, McBride, C. Reasons for quitting: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for smoking cessation in a population-based sample of smokers. Addict. Behav. 1997; 22: 727–39.
12Curry, SJ, Wagner, EH, Grothaus, LC. Evaluation of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation interventions with a self-help smoking cessation program. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 1991; 59: 318–24.
13National Research Council Committee on Diet and Health. Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1989.
14Kristal, AR, Curry, SJ, Shattuck, AL, Feng, Z, Li, S. A randomized trial of a tailored, self-help dietary intervention: the Puget Sound Eating Patterns Study. Prev. Med. 2000; 31: 380–9.
15Nunnally, JC. Psychometric Theory, 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.. 1978.
16Shannon, J, Kristal, AR, Curry, SJ, Beresford, SA. Application of a behavioral approach to measuring dietary change: the fat- and fiber-related diet behavior questionnaire. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev. 1997; 6: 355–61.
17Havas, S, Heimendinger, J, Damron, D, Nicklas, TA, Cowan, A, Beresford, SA, Sorensen, G, Buller, D, Bishop, D, Baranowski, T, Reynolds, K. 5 A Day for better health – nine community research projects to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Public Health Rep. 1995; 110: 6879.
18The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health. DHHS (PHS) Publication 88-50210. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1998.
19Bellisle, F, Monneuse, MO, Steptoe, A, Wardle, J. Weight concerns and eating patterns: a survey of university students in Europe. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 1995; 10: 723–30.
20Riley, NM, Bild, DE, Cooper, L, Schreiner, P, Smith, DE, Sorlie, P, Thompson, JK. Relation of self-image to body size and weight loss attempts in black women: the CARDIA study. Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1998; 148: 1062–8.
21Harris, MB, Waschull, S, Walters, L. Feeling fat: motivations, knowledge, and attitudes of overweight women and men. Psychol. Rep. 1990; 67: 1191–202.
22Turrell, G. Determinants of healthy food choice in a population-based sample. Am. J. Health Behav. 1998; 22: 342–7.
23Ferrini, RL, Edelstein, SL, Barrett-Connor, E. Factors associated with health behavior change among residents 50 to 96 years of age in Rancho Bernardo, California. Am. J. Prev. Med. 1994; 10: 2630.
24Zunft, HJ, Friebe, D, Seppelt, B, de Graaf, C, Margetts, B, Schmitt, A, Gibney, MJ. Perceived benefits of healthy eating among a nationally representative sample of adults in the European Union. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 1997; 51(Suppl. 2), S41–6.
25McConaghy, J. Adults' beliefs about the determinants of successful dietary change. Community Health Stud. 1989; 13: 492502.
26Buttriss, JL. Food and nutrition: attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge in the United Kingdom. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1997; 65(6 Suppl.), 1985S–95S.
27Meillier, LK, Lund, AB, Kok, G. Cues to action in the process of changing lifestyle. Patient Educ. Couns. 1997; 30: 3751.
28Nagasawa, M, Smith, MC, Barnes, JH Jr, Fincham, JE. Meta-analysis of correlates of diabetes patients' compliance with prescribed medications. Diabetes Educ. 1990; 16: 192200.
29Kelsey, KS, Kirlkley, BG, DeVellis, RF, Earp, JA, Ammerman, AS, Keyserling, TC, Shannon, J, Simpson, RJ Jr. Social support as a predictor of dietary change in a low-income population. Health Educ. Res. 1996; 11: 383–95.
30Keller, HH, Ostbye, T, Bright-See, E. Predictors of dietary intake in Ontario seniors. Can. J. Public Health 1997; 88: 305–9.
31Bovbjerg, VE, McCann, BS, Brief, DJ, Follette, WC, Retzlaff, BM, Dowdy, AA, Walden, CE, Knopp, RH. Spouse support and long-term adherence to lipid-lowering diets. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1995; 141: 451–60.
32Hebert, JR, Clemow, L, Pbert, L, Ockene, IS, Ockene, JK. Social desirability bias in dietary self-report may compromise the validity of dietary intake measures. Int. J. Epidemiol. 1995; 24: 389–98.
33Kristal, AR, Andrilla, CH, Koepsell, TD, Diehr, PH, Cheadle, A. Dietary assessment instruments are susceptible to intervention-associated response set bias. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 1998; 98: 40–3.

Keywords

Motivations for healthful dietary change

  • Jessie A Satia (a1), Alan R Kristal (a1), Susan Curry (a2) and Elyse Trudeau (a3)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed