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Health Psychol. 2000 Jan;19(1 Suppl):42-56.

Maintenance of dietary behavior change.

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  • 1Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6021, USA.


Reducing dietary fat, saturated fat, and sodium and increasing intakes of dietary fiber and fruits and vegetables are important for cardiopulmonary risk reduction. Behaviorally, these dietary changes are very challenging, and in different ways. Fewer than half of U.S. adults have diets meeting recommended intakes of these constituents, and many do not see a need to align their diets with recommendations. Various nutrition education and behavioral counseling approaches have been shown to facilitate changes in fat, fiber, sodium, and fruits and vegetables, but primarily in research settings and among the highly motivated. Practice-based and interdisciplinary studies are needed to refine strategies to effect long-term dietary changes, to differentiate behavioral issues for changes involving additions versus deletions from the diet, and to elucidate the roles of sensory, psychosocial, and contextual factors in adoption and maintenance.

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