Submitted to: Society for Nutrition Education
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 22, 2003
Publication Date: July 26, 2003
Citation: BOWMAN, S.A. ATTITUDE TOWARD NUTRITION WHILE FOOD SHOPPING AFFECTS FOOD CHOICES AND DIET QUALITY. SOCIETY FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION. 2003. Technical Abstract: Some people are more aware than others, of the importance of eating a nutritious diet. This study examines whether the level of importance an adult places on nutrition while buying foods affects an adult¿s food choices. Adults ages 20 years and older, in the USDA¿s 1994-1996 Diet and Health Knowledge Surveys, were included in the study (N=5,765). Their overall diet quality was determined using the USDA Healthy Eating Index (HEI). A HEI score above 80 indicates a good diet, and a score below 51 indicates a poor diet. After adjusting for socio-economic variables, the effect of nutrition awareness while buying foods on dietary intakes was determined using multiple regression models. Survey design effects were included in the analyses. Adults who considered nutrition very important while buying foods ate significantly (prob <0.01) more fruits and vegetables, drank more milk, had higher HEI scores, and had lower total fat and saturated fat intakes than adults who considered nutrition somewhat or not important. Adults who did not consider nutrition important were only half as likely to have a good diet and 1.3 times more likely to have a poor diet (prob <0.001) than adults who considered nutrition very important while buying foods. This study showed that adults who are cognizant of the importance of nutrition will choose healthful foods. Dietitians counseling household food shoppers should accentuate the importance of nutrition and provide guidance on how to shop for nutritious foods.