Relationship of meal planners' nutrition attitudes and knowledge to their fat and fiber intakes and that of their preschool-aged children

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Virginia Tech

The relationship of meal planners' nutrition attitudes and knowledge to their fat and fiber intakes and to the intakes of 2-5 year-old children in their households were examined using data from USDA's 1989-91 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) and corresponding Diet and Health Knowledge Survey (DHKS). Selected households (N=478) provided 24-hour diet recalls. Data on meal planners' attitudes and knowledge were used to create variables that represented the constructs of a modified Health Belief Model. The relationships of these variables to the percent of calories from fat and to fiber density of foods consumed at home and of total food consumed by meal planners and children were analyzed using multiple regression. Several of the attitude-knowledge variables were significantly related to meal planners' fat and fiber intakes. The variables did not have a significantly different relationship with children's intakes, except for taste which was inversely related to children's fiber intakes. Although the relationship of meal planners' attitudes and knowledge was not significantly different with children's intakes than with meal planners' intakes, the constructs were not significantly related either, except for knowledge which was significantly related to less at-home fat consumption by children. Results indicate weak support for the gatekeeper theory; meal planners' nutrition knowledge and attitudes appear more operational in their diets than in the diets of their young children.