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: 2.69). 08/2013; 71. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.07.016
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Fiona O'Leary, May 15, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: AimAlthough the Transtheoretical Model's processes of change have been investigated for improving fruit and vegetable intake in adults, no studies have been conducted in Australia. To help understand what might enable Australian adults to change, we assessed the relationship between stages and processes of change.MethodsA convenience sample of university students and employees (n = 105; female = 77) aged 18–60 years participated in this cross-sectional study. Validated questionnaires that measure stages and processes of change for fruit and vegetable consumption were completed. The process of change questionnaire used 40 items, with responses on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from ‘never’ to ‘repeatedly’.ResultsNinety-eight per cent of the sample was in the precontemplation, preparation or maintenance stage. Most differences in process use occurred between precontemplation and the combined contemplation/preparation stages. This latter displayed higher cognitive (P = 0.001) and behavioural process use (P = 0.01). Individual processes predominantly responsible for these differences were consciousness raising, dramatic relief, self re-evaluation and self liberation.Conclusions While there are limitations regarding study design and population, the results suggest that when designing a program to increase fruit and vegetable intake, targeting these processes may assist participants' progression from precontemplation to preparation. Additional research is necessary to critically examine process use between preparation and maintenance stages.
    Nutrition &amp Dietetics 11/2014; DOI:10.1111/1747-0080.12147 · 0.72 Impact Factor