Eating inadequate amounts of fruits and vegetables is associated with diminished health, and most Americans fall short of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation to eat at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each day. This study assessed behaviors associated with fruit and vegetable consumption in adults.
A cross-sectional, random-digit–dialed telephone survey of 4,784 adults living in Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana, measured demographic characteristics, personal health data, food consumption, food label use, and other eating habits. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess the association between selected dietary behaviors and fruit and vegetable consumption, controlling for demographic characteristics.
Behaviors associated with adequate versus inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables were frequent snacking on healthy foods (odds ratio [OR], 2.54), eating meals at home (OR, 2.09), using nutrition labels when making purchases (OR, 1.52), and using "heart healthy" symbols and other food information labels when ordering from restaurants (OR, 1.41). Frequent red meat consumption was negatively associated with adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables (OR, 0.64).
Healthful snacking, food label use, and eating meals prepared at home may improve dietary quality. Our measure of adequacy may also be useful in future studies assessing dietary behavior and diet composition.
Despite the significant health benefits associated with eating healthily, diet is extremely difficult to change, with the majority of people who intend to eat more healthily failing to do so. Recent evidence has suggested that the ability to turn intentions into actions may be related to individual differences in one facet of executive control – cognitive inhibition (i.e. the ability to inhibit irrelevant information and suppress prepotent responses). The present study investigates the role of this and other executive processes (inhibition, task switching, planning and cognitive flexibility) in the translation of dietary intentions into action. In addition, as the literature suggests that weak executive control may be associated with hyper-responsivity to cues to action, the role of executive processes in susceptibility to environmental food cues and responses to If-Then plans designed to cue intended behaviour are investigated.
Future intentions about consumption of fruits and vegetables and snack foods will be measured in a sample of young adults. Actual consumption of the target foods will be recorded with computerised diaries over a subsequent 3-day period. Performance on a battery of established executive control tasks (Go-NoGo, Tower task, Verbal Fluency task and Trail-Making) will be used to predict the discrepancy between intended and actual dietary behaviour. In addition, executive control scores will be used to predict reported susceptibility to environmental food cues and benefit derived from the use of 'If-Then plans' designed to cue intended behaviour.
Our findings will add to understanding about the role of executive control in translating intentions into actions and may demonstrate potential for future public health interventions. If participants with weak executive control are found to be less likely to eat as they intend than those with strong executive control, then interventions that reduce the load on these executive processes may increase chances of successful intention-behaviour translation. If those with weak executive control are found to be more responsive to cues to action they may also benefit more from the use of If-Then plans designed to cue intended behaviour.
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthful diet can help lower chronic disease risk and aid in weight management. Increasing the percentage of Americans who consume enough fruits and vegetables every day is part of the Healthy People 2010 objectives for the nation. Assessing trends in consumption of these foods is important for tracking public health initiatives to meet this goal and for planning future objectives.
We assessed total and sex-specific changes in daily consumption of fruits and vegetables among 1,227,969 adults in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1994 through 2005. To estimate changes in consumption according to dietary recommendations that were in place during the years examined, we used geometric mean and the percentage of people eating fruits or vegetables or both five or more times per day. Estimates were standardized for sex, age, and race/ethnicity and analyzed by multivariate regression.
From 1994 through 2005, the geometric mean frequency of consumption of fruits and vegetables declined slightly (standardized change: men and women, −0.22 times/day; men, −0.26 times/day; women, −0.17 times/day). The proportion of men and women eating fruits or vegetables or both five or more times per day was virtually unchanged (men, 20.6% vs 20.3%; women, 28.4% vs 29.6%); however, we found small increases for men aged 18 to 24 years and for women who were aged 25 to 34 years, non-Hispanic black, or nonsmokers. Consumption of fruit juice and nonfried potatoes declined for both sexes.
The frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption changed little from 1994 through 2005. If consumption is to be increased, we must identify and disseminate promising individual and environmental strategies, including policy change.
To investigate the efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict healthy eating behavior in a group of urban Native American youth.
Native American boys and girls (n = 139), ages 9–18 years old, were given a self-administered survey to assess eating behavior using the TBP constructs (intention, attitude, subjective norm, barriers, self-efficacy, and perceived behavioral control). Youth were also measured for height and weight and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Bivariate correlations and stepwise regression analyses of TBP model were performed with SPSS software.
No association was found between intention and healthy eating behavior. However, independently healthy eating behavior was correlated with barriers (0.46), attitude (0.44), perceived behavioral control (0.35), and subjective norm (0.34). The most predictive barriers to eating healthy included the availability and taste of foods. Boys' eating behavior was most predicted by subjective norm, while girls' eating behavior was most predicted by barriers.
Lack of association between intention and healthy eating behavior suggests that factors other than intentions may drive healthy eating behaviors in urban Native American youth. Results indicate that programs promoting healthy eating to youth might focus on collaborating with families to make healthy foods more appealing to youth.
There is a need for more longitudinal studies investigating the associations between screen-based sedentary behaviors (SB), dietary behaviors and leisure-time physical activity (PA).
In the HEIA cohort study, 908 children were followed from age 11 to age 13 (September 2007 – May 2009). The children self-reported their intake of fruits, vegetables, soft drinks with sugar and snacks. TV/DVD use, computer/game use and leisure-time PA were also self-reported. Multilevel generalized linear mixed model analysis was used to assess longitudinal associations between the screen-based SB and each of the two other behaviors.
Twenty-month changes in TV/DVD use and computer/game use were positively associated with changes in the consumption of soft drinks with sugar and unhealthy snacks in the same period; and inversely associated with change in vegetable consumption. Change in computer/game use was also inversely related to change in fruit consumption. An inverse but non-substantive association was found between change in TV/DVD use and change in leisure-time PA. Change in computer/game use was not significantly associated with change in leisure-time PA.
Changes in screen-based SB were associated with multiple unfavorable changes in dietary habits, although the associations were weak. These associations need to be further investigated in intervention/experimental studies, to assess whether changing screen-based SB will result in clinically relevant changes in dietary behaviors. However, the findings of this study suggest that screen-based SB and leisure-time PA are largely independent behaviors which should be addressed separately in health promotion activities.
Children; Adolescents; Sedentary behaviors; Screen time; Dietary behaviors; Physical activity; Associations; Longitudinal
A unique strength of the African American community is the importance of the church and faith. Interventions promoting health may want to build on these strengths by developing faith-based interventions that encourage churches to create an environment that supports behavior change.
To examine the relationship between perceived environmental church support for healthy eating and intake of fruit and vegetables and fat and fiber-related behaviors, and to examine if these relationships differ by gender.
A cross-sectional study in which participants completed self-report dietary and perceived church support measures prior to the initiation of an intervention. Relationships between fruit and vegetable consumption, fat and fiber-related behaviors, and perceived church support (total, written informational, spoken informational, instrumental [fruit and vegetable consumption only]), along with Support x Gender interactions were examined.
Participants were 1136 African American church members from four geographically-defined districts in South Carolina.
Multiple regression models controlling for gender, age, years of education, health rating, and body mass index using SAS PROC MIXED. A separate model was conducted for each measure of perceived church support and each type of healthy eating index.
Perceived total church support and perceived written and spoken informational church support were related to significantly higher fruit and vegetable intake and more favorable fiber-related behaviors, whereas only perceived total and perceived written informational support were associated with more low-fat dietary behaviors. Perceived instrumental church support was not associated with fruit and vegetable consumption. No gender differences were found.
The social and physical church environment may be important factors influencing the dietary habits of its members. Future faith-based interventions should further explore the role of the church environment in improving the dietary practices of its members.
Dietary Practices; Faith-based; African American Adults; Church Support
This article describes the integrative model of behavioral prediction (IM), the latest formulation of a reasoned action approach. The IM attempts to identify a limited set of variables that can account for a considerable proportion of the variance in any given behavior. More specifically, consistent with the original theory of reasoned action, the IM assumes that intentions are the immediate antecedents of behavior, but in addition, the IM recognizes that environmental factors and skills and abilities can moderate the intention-behavior relationship. Similar to the theory of planned behavior, the IM also assumes that intentions are a function of attitudes, perceived normative pressure and self-efficacy, but it views perceived normative pressure as a function of descriptive as well as of injunctive (i.e., subjective) norms. After describing the theory and addressing some of the criticisms directed at a reasoned action approach, the paper illustrates how the theory can be applied to understanding and changing health related behaviors.
medical decision making; attitude; behavioral prediction; reasoned action; integrative model
This study tested several relationships predicted by the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) in a sample of 175 generally healthy, inactive, middle-aged women (40–65 yrs old) over a 12 week period. Participants’ physical activity, risk perceptions, outcome expectancies, action self-efficacy, and intentions were measured at baseline. Planning and maintenance self-efficacy were measured four weeks later. Physical activity behaviour was measured twelve weeks after baseline. The HAPA relationships were examined using a structural equation model. The data fit the model well and revealed several significant relationships. Action self-efficacy was the best predictor of intention. Maintenance self-efficacy was the best predictor of planning and behaviour. Contrary to the tenets of HAPA and to past research, planning did not predict behaviour. Overall, HAPA provides a useful framework for identifying determinants of physical activity intentions and behaviour within a group of inactive, middle-aged women.
Bicycle use entails high safety and health risks especially for adolescents. Most safety education programs aimed at adolescents focus on accident statistics and risk perceptions. This paper proposes the investigation of the social-cognitive correlates of risky cycling behaviors of adolescents prior to developing safety education programs.
Secondary school students aged 13 to 18 years (n = 1446) filled out questionnaires regarding bicycle behavior, risky intentions, accident experience, and social-cognitive determinants as suggested by the theory of planned behavior.
Regression analysis revealed that the proximal variables (i.e., self-efficacy, attitudes towards drunk driving, personal norm regarding safekeeping of self and others, and compared risk) were able to predict 17% of the variance of risky behavior and 23% of the variance of risky intentions. The full model explained respectively 29% and 37% of the variance in risky behavior and risky intentions. Adolescents with positive attitudes towards risky behavior and low sense of responsibility report risky behavior, even when having been (close to) an accident.
Adolescents realize whether they are risk takers or not. This implies that the focus of education programs should not be on risk perceptions, but on decreasing positive attitudes towards alcohol in traffic and increasing sense of responsibility instead. Cognitions regarding near accidents should be studied, the role of safe cycling self-efficacy is unclear.
It was predicted that because of their abstract nature, values will have greater impact on how individuals plan their distant future than their near future. Experiments 1 and 2 found that values better predict behavioral intentions for distant future situations than near future situations. Experiment 3 found that whereas high-level values predict behavioral intentions for more distant future situations, low-level feasibility considerations predict behavioral intentions for more proximate situation. Finally, Experiment 4 found that the temporal changes in the relationship between values and behavioral intentions depended on how the behavior was construed. Higher correspondence is found when behaviors are construed on a higher level and when behavior is planned for the more distant future than when the same behavior is construed on a lower level or is planned for the more proximal future. The implications of these findings for self-consistency and value conflicts are discussed.
Construal; Values; Construal level theory; Time perspective; Behavioral intentions
Increased access to the Internet and the availability of efficacious eHealth interventions offer great promise for assisting adults with diabetes to change and maintain health behaviors. A key concern is whether levels of engagement in Internet programs are sufficient to promote and sustain behavior change.
This paper used automated data from an ongoing Internet-based diabetes self-management intervention study to calculate various indices of website engagement. The multimedia website involved goal setting, action planning, and self-monitoring as well as offering features such as “Ask an Expert” to enhance healthy eating, physical activity, and medication adherence. We also investigated participant characteristics associated with website engagement and the relationship between website use and 4-month behavioral and health outcomes.
We report on participants in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) who were randomized to receive (1) the website alone (n = 137) or (2) the website plus human support (n = 133) that included additional phone calls and group meetings. The website was available in English and Spanish and included features to enhance engagement and user experience. A number of engagement variables were calculated for each participant including number of log-ins, number of website components visited at least twice, number of days entering self-monitoring data, number of visits to the “Action Plan” section, and time on the website. Key outcomes included exercise, healthy eating, and medication adherence as well as body mass index (BMI) and biological variables related to cardiovascular disease risk.
Of the 270 intervention participants, the average age was 60, the average BMI was 34.9 kg/m2, 130 (48%) were female, and 62 (23%) self-reported Latino ethnicity. The number of participant visits to the website over 4 months ranged from 1 to 119 (mean 28 visits, median 18). Usage decreased from 70% of participants visiting at least weekly during the first 6 weeks to 47% during weeks 7 to 16. There were no significant differences between website only and website plus support conditions on most of the engagement variables. In total, 75% of participants entered self-monitoring data at least once per week. Exercise action plan pages were visited more often than medication taking and healthy eating pages (mean of 4.3 visits vs 2.8 and 2.0 respectively, P < .001). Spearman nonparametric correlations indicated few significant associations between patient characteristics and summary website engagement variables, and key factors such as ethnicity, baseline computer use, age, health literacy, and education were not related to use. Partial correlations indicated that engagement, especially in self-monitoring, was most consistently related to improvement in healthy eating (r = .20, P = .04) and reduction of dietary fat (r = -.31, P = .001). There was also a significant correlation between self-monitoring and improvement in exercise (r = .20, P = .033) but not with medication taking.
Participants visited the website fairly often and used all of the theoretically important sections, but engagement decreased over 4 months. Usage rates and patterns were similar for a wide range of participants, which has encouraging implications for the potential reach of online interventions.
NCT00987285; http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00987285 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5vpe4RHTV)
Engagement; Internet; diabetes self-management; research methods; health disparities
This paper examines the mechanisms by which PHLAME (Promoting Healthy Lifestyles: Alternative Models’ Effects), a health promotion intervention, improved healthy eating and exercise behavior among firefighters, a population at high risk for health problems due to occupational hazards. In a randomized trial, 397 firefighters participated in either the PHLAME team intervention with their work shift or a control condition. Intervention sessions taught benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise and sought to improve social norms and social support from coworkers for healthy behavior. At post-test team intervention participants had increased their fruit and vegetable consumption as compared to control participants. An increase in knowledge of fruit and vegetable benefits and improved dietary coworker norms partially mediated these effects. Exercise habits and VO2 max were related to targeted mediators but were not significantly changed by the team intervention. Partial support was found for both the action and conceptual theories underlying the intervention. Our findings illustrate how an effective program’s process can be deconstructed to understand the underpinnings of behavior change and refine interventions. Further, fire stations may improve the health of firefighters by emphasizing the benefits of healthy diet and exercise behaviors while also encouraging behavior change by coworkers as a whole.
health promotion intervention; work team
Understanding the correlates of dietary intake is necessary in order to effectively promote healthy dietary behavior among children and adolescents. A literature review was conducted on the correlates of the following categories of dietary intake in children and adolescents: Fruit, Juice and Vegetable Consumption, Fat in Diet, Total Energy Intake, Sugar Snacking, Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Dietary Fiber, Other Healthy Dietary Consumption, and Other Less Healthy Dietary Consumption in children and adolescents.
Cross-sectional and prospective studies were identified from PubMed, PsycINFO and PsycArticles by using a combination of search terms. Quantitative research examining determinants of dietary intake among children and adolescents aged 3–18 years were included. The selection and review process yielded information on country, study design, population, instrument used for measuring intake, and quality of research study.
Seventy-seven articles were included. Many potential correlates have been studied among children and adolescents. However, for many hypothesized correlates substantial evidence is lacking due to a dearth of research. The correlates best supported by the literature are: perceived modeling, dietary intentions, norms, liking and preferences. Perceived modeling and dietary intentions have the most consistent and positive associations with eating behavior. Norms, liking, and preferences were also consistently and positively related to eating behavior in children and adolescents. Availability, knowledge, outcome expectations, self-efficacy and social support did not show consistent relationships across dietary outcomes.
This review examined the correlates of various dietary intake; Fruit, Juice and Vegetable Consumption, Fat in Diet, Total Energy Intake, Sugar Snacking, Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Dietary Fiber, Other Healthy Dietary Consumption, and Other Less Healthy Dietary Consumption in cross-sectional and prospective studies for children and adolescents. The correlates most consistently supported by evidence were perceived modeling, dietary intentions, norms, liking and preferences. More prospective studies on the psychosocial determinants of eating behavior using broader theoretical perspectives should be examined in future research.
Message framing is a theoretically grounded health communication strategy designed to motivate action by emphasizing the benefits of engaging in a particular behavior (gains) or the costs of failing to engage in the behavior (losses). This study investigated whether the effectiveness of a framed message depends on the emotional state of the message recipient. We examined effects of fear versus anger, emotions that frequently occur within the context of health decision-making.
Undergraduate students (N = 133) were randomly assigned to complete a fear or anger induction task after which they read a gain- or loss-framed pamphlet promoting fruit and vegetable consumption. Fruit and vegetable intake (servings per day) was subsequently assessed over the following two weeks.
As predicted, a significant frame by emotion interaction was observed, such that participants in the fear condition reported eating more servings of fruits and vegetables after exposure to a loss-framed message than to a gain-framed message. In contrast, participants in the anger condition reported eating (marginally) more servings of fruits and vegetables after exposure to a gain-framed message than to a loss-framed message. That is, greater increases in fruit and vegetable intake from baseline to follow-up were observed when frame was matched to participants’ emotional state than when it was mismatched.
The effectiveness of framed health communications depends on the message recipient’s current emotional state. Affective factors that are incidental to the behavior recommended in a health communication can affect the relative success of gain- and loss-framed appeals.
message framing; health communication; emotion; fruits and vegetables; dietary behavior
This study was performed to identify dietary behavior such as snack consumption, night-eating and nutrients intake associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The study was conducted on 219 normal glucose tolerance (NGT) subjects and 44 GDM subjects by using a questionnaire including dietary behavior, food frequency and 3-day food record. The mean age, OGTT, and delivery weight of GDM subjects were statistically higher than those in NGT. A larger proportion of NGT subjects consumed black coffee (49.8%) while the majority of GDM subjects (61.4%) drank mixed coffee with sugar and cream. Dairy products were the most frequently consumed snack item in NGT subjects (40.7%), while fruits were most frequently consumed food item in GDM subjects (34.4%). Many of NGT subjects (49.8%) answered that they hardly took night-eating snacks whereas most of GDM subjects (61.4%) took night-eating snacks more than once a week. For change of taste preference, the proportion of NGT subjects who showed less preference for salty taste (33.3%) or greasy taste (16.9%) was higher than that of GDM subjects (11.4%). Nutrient intakes of energy, fat, cholesterol, saturated fatty acid (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), carbohydrate, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E in GDM group were significantly higher than those in NGT group. Nutrient densities of SFA and vitamin C in GDM group were higher and nutrient density of calcium was lower than those in NGT group. Taken together, it is recommended to reduce night-eating snack and choose less salty and fatty foods, black-coffee rather than coffee with cream and sugar, and more dairy products to prevent GDM.
Snack consumption; Night-eating; Nutrient intake; Gestational diabetes mellitus
Few studies have investigated the associations of takeaway food consumption with overall diet quality and abdominal obesity. Young adults are high consumers of takeaway food so we aimed to examine these associations in a national study of young Australian adults.
A national sample of 1,277 men and 1,585 women aged 26–36 completed a self-administered questionnaire on demographic and lifestyle factors, a 127 item food frequency questionnaire, usual daily frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption and usual weekly frequency of takeaway food consumption. Dietary intake was compared with the dietary recommendations from the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Waist circumference was measured for 1,065 men and 1,129 women. Moderate abdominal obesity was defined as ≥ 94 cm for men and ≥ 80 cm for women. Prevalence ratios (PR) were calculated using log binomial regression. Takeaway food consumption was dichotomised, with once a week or less as the reference group.
Consumption of takeaway food twice a week or more was reported by more men (37.9%) than women (17.7%, P < 0.001). Compared with those eating takeaway once a week or less, men eating takeaway twice a week or more were significantly more likely to be single, younger, current smokers and spend more time watching TV and sitting, whereas women were more likely to be in the workforce and spend more time watching TV and sitting. Participants eating takeaway food at least twice a week were less likely (P < 0.05) to meet the dietary recommendation for vegetables, fruit, dairy, extra foods, breads and cereals (men only), lean meat and alternatives (women only) and overall met significantly fewer dietary recommendations (P < 0.001). After adjusting for confounding variables (age, leisure time physical activity, TV viewing and employment status), consuming takeaway food twice a week or more was associated with a 31% higher prevalence of moderate abdominal obesity in men (PR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.61) and a 25% higher prevalence in women (PR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.50).
Eating takeaway food twice a week or more was associated with poorer diet quality and a higher prevalence of moderate abdominal obesity in young men and women.
Youths eat fewer fruits and vegetables than recommended. Effective methods are needed to increase and maintain their fruit and vegetable consumption. Goal setting has been an effective behavior change procedure among adults, but has had limited effectiveness among youths. Implementation intentions are specific plans to facilitate goal attainment. Redefining goal setting to include implementation intentions may be an effective way to increase effectiveness. Video games offer a controlled venue for conducting behavioral research and testing hypotheses to identify mechanisms of effect.
This report describes the protocol that guided the design and evaluation of Squire’s Quest! II, a video game aimed to increase child fruit and vegetable consumption.
Squire’s Quest! II is a 10-episode videogame promoting fruit and vegetable consumption to 4th and 5th grade children (approximately 9-11 year old youths). A four group randomized design (n=400 parent/child dyads) was used to systematically test the effect of two types of implementation intentions (action, coping) on fruit and vegetable goal attainment and consumption of 4th and 5th graders. Data collection occurred at baseline, immediately post game-play, and 3 months later. Child was the unit of assignment. Three dietary recalls were collected at each data collection period by trained interviewers using the Nutrient Data System for Research (NDSR 2009). Psychosocial and process data were also collected.
To our knowledge, this is the first research to explore the effect of implementation intentions on child fruit and vegetable goal attainment and consumption.
This intervention will contribute valuable information regarding whether implementation intentions are effective with elementary age children.
video game, nutrition, fruit, vegetable, children, intervention, action implementation intention, coping implementation intention, goal setting
Television (TV) viewing time is positively associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adults. However, the mechanisms through which TV viewing time is associated with MetS risk remain unclear. There is evidence that the consumption of energy-dense, nutrient poor snack foods increases during TV viewing time among adults, suggesting that these behaviors may jointly contribute towards MetS risk. While the association between TV viewing time and the MetS has previously been shown to be independent of adult’s overall dietary intake, the specific influence of snack food consumption on the relationship is yet to be investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine the independent and joint associations of daily TV viewing time and snack food consumption with the MetS and its components in a sample of Australian adults.
Population-based, cross-sectional study of 3,110 women and 2,572 men (>35 years) without diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Participants were recruited between May 1999 and Dec 2000 in the six states and the Northern Territory of Australia. Participants were categorised according to self-reported TV viewing time (low: 0-2 hr/d; high: >2 hr/d) and/or consumption of snack foods (low: 0-3 serves/d; high: >3 serves/d). Multivariate odds ratios [95% CI] for the MetS and its components were estimated using gender-specific, forced entry logistic regression.
OR [95% CI] for the MetS was 3.59 [2.25, 5.74] (p≤0.001) in women and 1.45 [1.02, 3.45] (p = 0.04) in men who jointly reported high TV viewing time and high snack food consumption. Obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension (women only) were also jointly associated with high TV viewing time and high snack food consumption. Further adjustment for diet quality and central adiposity maintained the associations in women. High snack food consumption was also shown to be independently associated with MetS risk [OR: 1.94 (95% CI: 1.45, 2.60), p < 0.001] and hypertension [OR: 1.43 (95% CI: 1.01, 2.02), p = 0.05] in women only. For both men and women, high TV viewing time was independently associated with the MetS and its individual components (except hypertension).
TV viewing time and snack food consumption are independently and jointly associated with the MetS and its components, particularly in women. In addition to physical activity, population strategies targeting MetS prevention should address high TV time and excessive snack food intake.
Snacking; Sedentary behaviour; Screen-time; Metabolic risk
Stress has been known to change dietary behaviors and food intakes in individuals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of stress level on the frequency and the amount of snack consumption. The high stress group (HS) showed significantly higher frequency of consumption for bread, chips, cookies, ramyeon, and frozen snacks (p<0.05) compared to low stress group (LS) with higher frequency of snack consumption (p<0.01), and increased intakes of energy, carbohydrates, and sodium from snacks (p<0.01) than LS. As the stress level became higher, the proportions of students with irregular meals, overeating, and night snacking increased (p<0.01). Also, 33.0% of the subjects answered that they consumed an increased amount of snacks when they were feeling stressed. Our results indicated that stress has negative influence on snack consumption in middle school girls.
Stress; snack consumption; middle school girls
Krachtvoer is a Dutch healthy diet programme for prevocational schools, developed in 2001 and revised for a broader target group in 2007, based on the findings of an evaluation of the first version. The goal of this study was to report on the short- and longer-term total and subgroup effects of the revised programme on students’ fruit, fruit juice, breakfast, and snack consumption.
Schools were randomized to the experimental condition, teaching the Krachtvoer programme, or to the control condition teaching the regular nutrition lessons. Self-reported consumption of fruit, fruit juice, breakfast and snacks was measured at baseline directly before programme implementation, one to four weeks after finishing programme implementation, and after six months. Mixed linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted.
In total 1117 students of 13 experimental schools and 758 students of 11 control schools participated in the study. Short- and longer-term favourable intervention effects were found on fruit consumption (mean difference between experimental and control group 0.15 servings at both posttests). Regarding fruit juice consumption, only short-term favourable effects were revealed (mean difference between experimental and control group 0.05 glasses). Intervention effects on breakfast intakes were limited. No changes in snack frequency were reported, but students made healthier snack choices as a result of the programme. Some favourable as well as unfavourable effects occurred in subgroups of students.
The effects on fruit consumption and snack choices justify the current nationwide dissemination of the programme. Achieving changes in breakfast consumption may, however, require other strategies.
School programme; Nutrition; Dietary effects
This study investigates the dynamic shifts in snacking behaviors and patterns in China. Using four waves (1991, 2004, 2006, and 2009) from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) with full socioeconomic and demographic data and 3-day, 24-hour dietary recall data, 45,402 individuals age two and older were studied. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to examine the association of social-demographic factors on snacking behaviors. Results show that snacking prevalence, frequency of daily snacking occasions, and percentage of total daily energy intake (EI) from snacks increased significantly across all ages between 1991 and 2009, with a dramatic increase after 2004. Snacking was much more prevalent among children and higher-income, urban, and educated populations over time. Evening was the preferred snacking occasion, and the proportion of total daily EI from snacks varied between 4.1% and 12.3% for all snackers by age. Fruits, grains, and beverages were the most popular snacks and the highest contributors to snacking EI over all age groups. A marked transition from a tradition of two or three meals per day toward meals combined with snacks is underway. Further research is needed to develop a better understanding of the nutritional implications of Chinese snacking behaviors.
Snacking behaviors; snacking patterns; Chinese; social-demographic factors; trend
There is a growing awareness of the potent ways in which the wellbeing of physicians impacts the health of their patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the health behaviors, care needs and attitudes towards self-prescription of Dutch medical students, and any differences between junior preclinical and senior clinically active students.
All students (n = 2695) of a major Dutch medical school were invited for an online survey. Physical activity, eating habits, alcohol consumption, smoking, Body Mass Index, substance use and amount of sleep per night were inquired, as well as their need for different forms of care and their attitude towards self-prescription.
Data of 902 students were used. Physical activity levels (90% sufficient) and smoking prevalence (94% non-smokers) were satisfying. Healthy eating habits (51% insufficient) and alcohol consumption (46% excessive) were worrying. Body Mass Indexes were acceptable (20% unhealthy). We found no significant differences in health behaviors between preclinical and clinically active students. Care needs were significantly lower among clinically active students. (p<0.05) Student acceptance of self-prescription was significantly higher among clinically active students. (p<0.001)
Unhealthy behaviors are prevalent among medical students, but are no more prevalent during the clinical study phase. The need for specific forms of care appears lower with study progression. This could be worrying as the acceptance of self-care and self-prescription is higher among senior clinical students. Medical faculties need to address students' unhealthy behaviors and meet their care needs for the benefit of both the future physicians as well as their patients.
The aim of this study was to provide descriptive information on meal and snack patterns and to investigate snacks in relation to energy intake and food choice according to the meal patterns of employed people in Korea. 683 employed people (292 males, 391 females) were interviewed to collect one day dietary data by using 24-h dietary recall. A recorded day was divided into 3 meal and 3 snack periods by the respondent's criteria and the time of consumption. To analyze the eating pattern participants were divided as the more frequent snack eaters (MFSE) and the less frequent snack eaters (LFSE). They were also categorized into 6 groups according to the frequency of all eating occasions. The common meal pattern in nearly half of the subjects (47.6%) was composed of three meals plus one or two snacks per day. A trend of an increasing the number of snacks in between main meals emerges, although the conventional meal pattern is still retained in most employed Korean adults. Women, aged 30-39, and urban residents, had a higher number of being MFSE than LFSE. Increasing eating occasions was associated with higher energy, protein, and carbohydrate intakes, with the exception of fat intakes. 16.8% of the total daily energy intake came from snack consumption, while the 3 main meals contributed 83.2%. Energy and macronutrient intakes from snacks in the MFSE were significantly higher than the LFSE. Instant coffee was the most popular snack in the morning and afternoon, whereas heavy snacks and alcohol were more frequently consumed by both of the meal skipper groups (≤2M+2,3S and ≤2M+0,1S) in the evening. In conclusion, meal pattern is changing to reflect an increase of more snacks between the three main meals. Meal and snack patterns may be markers for the energy and macronutrient intakes of employed people in Korea.
Snack; meal; energy intake; meal pattern
Social norms are theoretically hypothesized to influence health-related behaviors such as physical activity and eating behaviors. However, empirical evidence relating social norms to these behaviors, independently of other more commonly-investigated social constructs such as social support, is scarce and findings equivocal, perhaps due to limitations in the ways in which social norms have been conceptualized and assessed. This study investigated associations between clearly-defined social norms and a range of physical activity and eating behaviors amongst women, adjusting for the effects of social support.
Self-report survey data about particular physical activity (leisure-time moderate-vigorous activity; volitional walking; cycling for transport) and eating behaviors (fast food, soft drink and fruit and vegetable consumption), and social norms and support for these, were provided by 3,610 women aged 18-46 years living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Victoria, Australia.
Results of regression analyses showed that social norms for physical activity and eating behaviors predicted these respective behaviors relatively consistently; these associations generally remained significant after adjustment for social support.
Acknowledging the cross-sectional study design, these data confirm theoretical accounts of the importance of social norms for physical activity and eating behaviors, and suggest that this is independent from social support. Intervention strategies aimed at promoting physical activity and healthy eating could incorporate strategies aimed at modifying social norms relating to these behaviors.
A healthy diet, low in saturated fat and high in fiber, is a popular medical recommendation in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). One approach to motivating healthier eating is to raise individuals’ awareness of their CVD risk and then help them form specific plans to change.
The aim was to explore the combined impact of a Web-based CVD risk message and a fully automated planning tool on risk perceptions, intentions, and saturated fat intake changes over 4 weeks.
Of the 1187 men and women recruited online, 781 were randomly allocated to one of four conditions: a CVD risk message, the same CVD risk message paired with planning, planning on its own, and a control group. All outcome measures were assessed by online self-reports. Generalized linear modeling was used to analyze the data.
Self-perceived consumption of low saturated fat foods (odds ratio 11.40, 95% CI 1.86–69.68) and intentions to change diet (odds ratio 21.20, 95% CI 2.6–172.4) increased more in participants allocated to the planning than the control group. No difference was observed between the four conditions with regard to percentage saturated fat intake changes. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in perceived and percentage saturated fat intake change between the CVD risk message plus planning group and the control group. Risk perceptions among those receiving the CVD risk message changed to be more in line with their age (change in slopeindividual = 0.075, P = .01; change in slopecomparative = 0.100, P = .001), whereas there was no change among those who did not receive the CVD risk message.
There was no evidence that combining a CVD risk message with a planning tool reduces saturated fat intake more than either alone. Further research is required to identify ways in which matching motivational and volitional strategies can lead to greater behavior changes.
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 91154001; http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN91154001 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/62sBoGeOO)
Risk perceptions; cardiovascular disease; planning; saturated fat intake