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The objectives of the present study were to evaluate diet quality among Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) residents using the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) and to identify the top five dietary sources contributing to HEI-2005 components. Demographic differences in HEI-2005 scores were also explored.
Diet quality was evaluated using HEI-2005. Demographic differences in HEI-2005 scores were investigated using multivariable regression models adjusting for multiple comparisons. The top five dietary sources contributing to HEI-2005 components were identified by estimating and ranking mean MyPyramid equivalents overall and by demographic characteristics.
Dietary data, based on a single 24 h recall, from the Foods of Our Delta Study 2000 (FOODS 2000) were used in the analyses.
FOODS 2000 adult participants 18 years of age or older.
Younger age was the largest determinant of low diet quality in the LMD with HEI-2005 total and seven component scores declining with decreasing age. Income was not a significant factor for HEI-2005 total or component scores. The top five dietary sources differed by all five of the demographic variables, particularly for total vegetables and energy from solid fats, alcoholic beverages and added sugars (SoFAAS). Soft drinks were the leading source of SoFAAS energy intake for all demographic groups.
The assessment of diet quality and identification of top dietary sources revealed the presence of demographic differences for selected HEI-2005 components. These findings allow identification of food patterns and culturally appropriate messaging and highlight the difficulties of treating this region as a homogeneous population.
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