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J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Jul;97(7 Suppl):S70-2.

One size fits all: implications for assessing dietary behavior.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill 60153, USA.


Accurate assessment of dietary behavior is central to the design, implementation, and evaluation of intervention programs aimed at behavior change, and use of an Eating Behaviors Questionnaire (EBQ) has been suggested for measuring dimensions of dietary fat behavior. The EBQ has proven useful in characterizing fat-related dietary patterns among middle-class, highly educated, highly motivated white women. To investigate the generalizability of the instrument, we provide findings from a community-based sample of 235 African-Americans in Maywood, Illinois, a middle-class working community outside Chicago. The sample consisted of 159 women and 76 men with an average age of 47.4 +/- 13.8 years for women and 48.1 +/- 12.1 years for men (mean +/- standard deviation; range, 18 to 87 years). The EBQ is based on four broad behavioral domains (ie, avoidance, modification, substitution, and replacement) associated with fat-related eating patterns. These behavioral domains are composed of specific dietary behaviors (factors). Using a scoring system that allowed all participants to be included in all analyses, we identified a set of factors characterizing eating patterns in our sample that differed from those reported previously. When the factors were converted to scales using unit scoring, the average value suggested a tendency toward a higher fat eating pattern. Results indicate that although behavioral domains appear to be constant across populations, fat-related eating patterns are not. These observations have implications for understanding the diversity of fat-related dietary patterns across groups and for planning appropriate behavior change strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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