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Importance of taste, nutrition, cost and convenience in relation to diet quality: Evidence of nutrition resilience among US adults using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2010



Importance of taste, nutrition, cost and convenience in relation to diet quality: Evidence of nutrition resilience among US adults using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2010



Preventive Medicine 90: 184-192



Concerns with taste, nutrition, cost, and convenience are said to be key influences on food choices. This study examined the importance of food-related attitudes in relation to diet quality using US national level data. Interactions by socioeconomic status (SES), gender and race/ethnicity were tested. Analyses of 8957 adults from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2007-2010) were conducted in 2014-15. Perceived importance of taste, nutrition, cost, and convenience in dietary choices were assessed using 4-point Likert scales. Education and family income-to-poverty ratio (FIPR) were SES indicators. Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010), a measure of adherence to 2010 dietary guidelines, was the diet quality measure. Survey-weighted regressions examined associations between attitudes and HEI, and tested for interactions. Taste was rated as "very important" by 77.0% of the US adults, followed by nutrition (59.9%), cost (39.9%), and convenience (29.8%). However, it was the perceived importance of nutrition that most strongly predicted HEI (β: +8.0 HEI scores among "very important" vs. "not at all important"). By contrast, greater importance for taste and convenience had a weak inverse relation with HEI (β: -5.1 and -1.5 respectively), adjusting for SES. Significant interactions were observed by race/ethnicity, but not SES and gender. Those who prioritized nutrition during food shopping had higher-quality diets regardless of gender, education and income in the US. Certain racial/ethnic groups managed to eat healthy despite attaching importance to cost and convenience. This is the first evidence of nutrition resilience among US adults using national data, which has huge implications for nutrition interventions.

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Accession: 058070259

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27374943

DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.06.030


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