Prevalence of and intention to change dietary and physical activity health risk behaviours

Department of Nutrition & Metabolism, School of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia. Electronic address: .
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.52). 08/2013; 71. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.07.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Poor nutrition and insufficient physical activity contribute to high rates of obesity. Prevalence, intention to change and co-occurrence of four health risk behaviours (inadequate fruit and vegetables, excessive dietary fat, excessive sugary beverages and inadequate physical activity in comparison to public health recommendations) were investigated in an Australian population of working adults. Participants (n=105) completed sociodemographic and stage of change questionnaires. A subsample (n=40) were assessed twice to estimate test-retest repeatability. In the full sample, 73% were female, mean age was 33.8 years and mean BMI was 23.8 kg/m(2). Eighty-seven percent of participants consumed inadequate fruit and vegetables, 43% had excessive dietary fat, 42% had excessive sugary beverages and 29% had inadequate physical activity. The proportions intending to change each behaviour were 57%, 25%, 18% and 24%, respectively. Two-thirds exhibited multiple risk behaviours and 38% intended to change multiple risk behaviours. Fruit and vegetables and dietary fat were the most commonly paired risk behaviours (39%) and the pair most intended to change (19%). Occurrence of multiple risk behaviours was associated with being male (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.06-9.03) or overweight/obese (OR 2.66, 95% CI 1.02-6.93). Targeting two risk behaviours, particularly fruit and vegetables and dietary fat, may be appropriate when designing health promotion programs in working populations.

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