The relationship between food-related beliefs and dietary behaviour; a comparison between adolescents and the elderly
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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It would be logical to assume that once an individual has obtained nutritional knowledge, they would use this knowledge to help them adhere to healthy diet. However, this does not seem to be the case. By identifying a relationship between the factors involved in food choice such as beliefs and dietary behaviour it is hoped that effective dietary interventions can be developed. Thus, the purpose of this study was to establish if there was a relationship between food-related beliefs and dietary behaviour and also, if these beliefs and associated behaviour differed between adolescents and the elderly. The subject pool comprised 70 subjects, 34 adolescents aged 16 to 18 years and 36 elderly aged 65+ years. All the subjects completed a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and a Food-related Beliefs Questionnaire (FBQ). The results of the study found a non significant relationship (p >0.05) between the foodrelated beliefs and dietary behaviour of the subjects. With a non significant difference (p> 0.05) also being found in the food-related beliefs of the two subject groups. However, the dietary behaviour adhered to by the elderly was significantly different (p < 0.05) to that of the adolescents. It can be concluded from this study that the elderly as a population are adhering to a healthier diet than the adolescent population. However, neither is meeting the BOGH recommendations and thus, require interventions to be put into place in order to cause changes in their dietary behaviour. Therefore, further research is needed in to the multiple influences of dietary behaviour to allow for the effective development of interventions. This is essential if the figures of diet-related non-communicable diseases are to be reduced.
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