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To examine associations of various psychosocial factors with fruit and
vegetable intake in African-American adults.
A cross-sectional survey of a population-based sample of 658
African-Americans, aged 18–70 years, in North Carolina.
Information was collected on diet-related psychosocial (predisposing,
reinforcing and enabling) factors based on the PRECEDE (Predisposing,
Reinforcing, and Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis and
Evaluation) planning framework; demographic, lifestyle and behavioural
characteristics, and fruit and vegetable intake.
The mean participant age was 43.9 years (standard deviation 11.6), 57% were
female and 76% were overweight/obese. Participants expressed healthy beliefs
regarding many of, but not all, the psychosocial factors. For example,
although half of the respondents believed it is important to eat a diet high
in fruits/vegetables, only 26% knew that ≥ 5 daily
servings are recommended. The strongest associations of the psychosocial
factors with fruit/vegetable intake were for predisposing factors (e.g.
belief in the importance of a high fruit/vegetable diet and knowledge of
fruit/vegetable recommendations) and one reinforcing factor (social
support), with differences between the healthiest and least healthy
responses of 0.5–1.0 servings per day. There was evidence of
effect modification by gender in associations between psychosocial factors
and fruit/vegetable consumption (e.g. self-efficacy was only significant in
women), with higher intakes and generally healthier responses to the
psychosocial variables in women than men.
Interventions to increase fruit/vegetable intake in African-Americans may be
more effective if they focus primarily on predisposing factors, such as
knowledge, self-efficacy and attitudes, but not to the exclusion of
reinforcing and enabling factors. The psychosocial factors that are targeted
may also need to be somewhat different for African-American men and
To examine associations of the frequency of eating at fast-food restaurants with demographic, behavioural and psychosocial factors and dietary intake in African American adults.
Self-reported data from a population-based cross-sectional survey of 658 African Americans, aged 20–70 years, in North Carolina. An 11-page questionnaire assessed eating at fast-food restaurants, demographic, behavioural and diet-related psychosocial factors, and dietary intake (fruit, vegetable, total fat and saturated fat intakes, and fat-related dietary behaviours).
The participants were aged 43.9±11.6 years (mean±standard deviation), 41% were male, 37% were college graduates and 75% were overweight or obese. Seventy-six per cent reported eating at fast-food restaurants during the previous 3 months: 4% usually, 22% often and 50% sometimes. Frequency of eating at fast-food restaurants was positively associated with total fat and saturated fat intakes and fat-related dietary behaviours (P < 0.0001) and inversely associated with vegetable intake (P < 0.05). For example, mean daily fat intake was 39.0 g for usually/often respondents and 28.3 g for those reporting rare/never eating at fast-food restaurants. Participants who reported usual/often eating at fast-food restaurants were younger, never married, obese, physically inactive and multivitamin non-users (all P < 0.01). Frequency of eating at fast-food restaurants was positively associated with fair/poor self-rated health, weak belief in a diet–cancer relationship, low self-efficacy for healthy eating, weight dissatisfaction, and perceived difficulties of preparing healthy meals and ordering healthy foods in restaurants (all P < 0.05). Frequency of eating at fast-food restaurants did not differ significantly by sex, education, smoking, ability to purchase healthy foods or knowledge of the Food Guide Pyramid.
Eating at fast-food restaurants is associated with higher fat and lower vegetable intakes in African Americans. Interventions to reduce fast-food consumption and obesity in African Americans should consider demographic and behavioural characteristics and address attitudes about diet–disease relationships and convenience barriers to healthy eating.
To describe scales that measure motivations for changing dietary behaviour, and to examine associations of these scales with current diet and dietary change.
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.
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).
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.
To determine whether a short set of questions about foods in the household can provide information about the fat-related dietary behaviour of individual household members in less-acculturated Chinese populations.
The study population included 244 adult females of Chinese ethnicity in Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Bilingual interviewers collected information on the presence of 14 high-fat foods and seven reduced-fat foods in the household. Respondents were also asked about the consumption of foods and behaviour reflective of adoption of Western dietary practices, fat-related dietary behaviour, changes in consumption of high-fat foods since immigration, and sociodemographic characteristics.
Although this was a less-acculturated sample, many households had Western foods such as butter (58%), lunchmeats (36%), snack chips (43%), and 1% or skim milk (48%). Households with respondents who were younger, married, employed outside the home, and lived with young children had significantly more high-fat foods, while high education and longer percentage of life in North America were significantly associated with having more reduced-fat foods (P ≤ = 0.05). Participants living in households with more high-fat foods had higher-fat dietary behaviour than those with fewer high-fat foods (fat-related dietary behaviour score, 1.54 versus 1.28; P < 0.001). Women in households with more reduced-fat foods had a significantly decreased consumption of high-fat foods since immigration compared with those in households with fewer reduced-fat foods (P < 0.001). Western dietary acculturation was higher among women in households both with more high-fat foods and more reduced-fat food counterparts (P ≤ 0.05).
Our inventory of household foods was strongly associated with current dietary behaviour, changes in food consumption, and westernization of dietary patterns. This simple, practical measure may be a useful alternative dietary assessment tool in less-acculturated Chinese populations.
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