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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2007 Jul-Aug;39(4):214-8.

Diet-specific social support among rural adolescents.

Author information

1
Division of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Butler Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Cassandra_Stanton@brown.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The relationships among primary sources of social support in adolescents' environments (family and friends) and eating behaviors (fat and fiber consumption) were examined in a sample of rural adolescents.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional baseline health surveys were administered in classrooms as part of a larger randomized trial evaluating a cancer education program.

SETTING:

Data were collected in middle schools drawn from 22 rural counties in Virginia and New York.

PARTICIPANTS:

1942 sixth graders with a modal age of 12 years, roughly equal gender distribution, and racially diverse (53% white, 37% black).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Variables included a 10-item scale of social support from family and friends for healthy eating, a brief food frequency questionnaire estimating daily grams of fat and fiber intake, and demographics (age, gender, race).

ANALYSIS:

Hierarchical multiple regressions and analyses of variance (ANOVAs).

RESULTS:

Controlling for demographics, family and friend support were found to significantly predict fat (P < .05) and fiber (P < .01) intake. Black respondents reported higher support from friends than did white adolescents (F = 47.49, P < .01).

IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH AND PRACTICE:

Support for healthful eating was related to healthful dietary practices and differed among racial subgroups. Identifying and fostering sources of positive support for healthful eating is critical to developing effective health promotion programs targeting high-risk adolescents.

PMID:
17606247
PMCID:
PMC3566230
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2006.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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