The results indicate the differences in socioeconomic and demographic variables and in perceptions of health that result in differences in nutrient intake. Individuals in all groups who were skeptical about health recommendations, diet-disease risk, and popular view about weight and health tended to consume less healthy diets. This suggests that by convincing people of the benefits of adequate diet (eliminating the skepticism), dietary intakes can be enhanced. However, the finding that for low-income populations income is a limitation to adequate nutrition suggests that the benefits of public education about the health benefits of nutrition are limited for this group. The finding that a higher BMI was correlated with a less healthy diet for all groups suggests that overweight individuals could benefit from educational programs promoting the merits of good nutrition. The fact that minorities consume less calcium is consistent with notion that this group exhibits lactose intolerance and suggests that education may not induce this group to increase calcium intake. Perceptions about the relationship between health, weight, and nutrition seem not to have positive impacts on nutrition for minorities and low-income individuals, whereas they did impact nutrient intake for other consumers. This suggests that merely educating the minority and low-income subgroups without addressing their income limitations or other socioeconomic reasons for differentials may be inadequate. However, the finding that more specific diet-disease knowledge seems to contribute to a healthier diet for all groups suggests that the most effective method of nutritional education is to highlight the disease element of poor nutrition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics