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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2003 Nov-Dec;35(6):294-301.

Applying the theory of planned behavior to predict dairy product consumption by older adults.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to explain intention to consume dairy products and consumption of dairy products by older adults using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The factors examined were attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control.


A cross-sectional questionnaire was administered.


Community centers with congregate dining programs, group classes, and recreational events for older adults.


One hundred and sixty-two older adults (mean age 75 years) completed the questionnaire. Subjects were mostly women (76%) and white (65%), with about half having less than a high school education or completing high school.


Variables based on the TPB were assessed through questionnaire items that were constructed to form scales measuring attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and intention to consume dairy products. Dairy product consumption was measured using a food frequency questionnaire.


Regression analyses were used to determine the association between the scales for the 3 variables proposed in the TPB and intention to consume and consumption of dairy products; the alpha level was set at.05 to determine the statistical significance of results.


Attitudes toward eating dairy products and perceived behavioral control contributed to the model for predicting intention, whereas subjective norms did not. Attitudes toward eating dairy products were slightly more important than perceived behavioral control in predicting intention. In turn, intention was strongly related to dairy product consumption, and perceived behavioral control was independently associated with dairy product consumption.


These results suggest the utility of the TPB in explaining dairy product consumption for older adults. Nutrition education should focus on improving attitudes and removing barriers to consumption of dairy products for older adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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