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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Food Shoppers' Nutrition Attitudes and Relationship to Dietary and Lifestyle Characteristics

Author
item Bowman, Shanthy

Submitted to: Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 23, 2004
Publication Date: March 14, 2005
Citation: Bowman, S.A. 2005. Food shoppers' nutrition attitudes and relationship to dietary and lifestyle characteristics. Nutrition Research. 25:281-293.

Interpretive Summary: Diet is one of the major factors that influence health. Other behavioral factors include, physical activity and exercise; television watching and other sedentary practices; smoking and tobacco use. Obesity, certain forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis are some of the health conditions attributable to poor dietary intakes and sedentary lifestyle practices. Therefore, it is important to understand the link between these factors. This study examined the association between dietary and other lifestyle practices of adults in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 1994-96, national Diet and Health Knowledge Survey (DHKS). The objective of the study was to find out whether adults, who considered nutrition very important when buying food, ate a more nutritious diet and adopted health-promoting, lifestyle practices than adults who did not consider nutrition very important. There were 5,689 adults in the study. The study findings showed significant links between nutrition and other lifestyle behavioral factors that may influence health conditions and consequently the quality of life. Adults who placed importance on nutrition were also more likely to practice a health-promoting lifestyle. Their diet was lower in energy, total fat, saturated fat, and added sugars, nutrients that are associated with overweight and other health conditions. They ate more nutritious foods such as fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and fluid milk than their counterparts. Adults who did not consider nutrition very important when buying food, as compared to adults who considered nutrition very important, were less likely to eat a good quality diet, practice sedentary behaviors such as watching a lot of television and not exercising regularly. Health interventions aimed at improving health-promoting lifestyle practices should also emphasize the importance of good nutrition.

Technical Abstract: This study examined the association between dietary and other lifestyle practices of adults in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest, national Diet and Health Knowledge Survey 1994 1996 (DHKS). The objective of the study was to find out whether adults, who considered nutrition very important when buying food, ate a more nutritious diet and adopted health promoting, lifestyle practices than adults who did not consider nutrition very important. There were 5,689 adults in the study. They were placed in one of the two groups: those who considered nutrition very important and those who did not consider nutrition very important. Regression models controlling for socio economic variables were used to assess dietary intakes, overall diet quality, and four lifestyle practices of the respondents. A high percent of females, adults ages 55 years and over, African Americans, and Hispanics stated that nutrition was very important to them when buying food. Adults who considered nutrition very important had lower energy, total fat, saturated fat, and added sugars; and ate more nutritious foods such as fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and fluid milk than their counterparts. Adults who did not consider nutrition very important as compared to adults who considered nutrition very important, were only half as likely to eat a good quality diet and 27 percent more likely to eat a poor quality diet, 26 percent more likely to eat fast food, 21 percent more likely to watch television for more than two hours a day, 38 percent more likely to be a smoker, and 32 percent less likely to exercise at least twice a week. The study showed that adults who placed importance on nutrition were also more likely to practice a health-promoting lifestyle.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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