Association of cancer prevention-related nutrition knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes to cancer prevention dietary behavior

Public Health Nutrition Program, University of California at Berkeley, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 10/1997; 97(9):957-65. DOI: 10.1016/S0002-8223(97)00231-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine the relationship of cancer prevention-related nutrition knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes to cancer prevention dietary behavior.
Noninstitutionalized US adults aged 18 years and older.
Data collected in the 1992 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Epidemiology Supplement were analyzed. The supplement included questions to ascertain knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes and a food frequency questionnaire to ascertain nutrient intake.
Multivariate linear regression modeling was conducted to assess the hypothesized relationships.
After adjustment for relevant covariates (age, sex, education, total energy, perceived barriers to eating a more healthful diet), knowledge and belief constructs were predictive of dietary behavior. Specifically, fat, fiber, and fruit and vegetable intakes more closely approximated dietary recommendations for persons with more cancer-prevention knowledge. The strength of the associations between these constructs and dietary behavior varied in some cases according to level of education and perceived barriers to eating a healthful diet. Of the perceived barriers to eating a healthful diet, perceived ease of eating a healthful diet was most strongly and consistently predictive of intake.
Research findings challenge dietetics practitioners to design diet- and health-promotion programs and activities that not only educate the public about the importance of diet to health, but also address barriers to dietary change.

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