Food and weight related behaviours: do beliefs matter more than nutrition knowledge?

Nowak, Madeleine, Buttner, Petra, Woodward, David, and Hawkes, Anna (2006) Food and weight related behaviours: do beliefs matter more than nutrition knowledge? In: Sparks, Tony P., (ed.) Focus on Nutrition Research. Nova Science, New York, pp. 71-120.

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Western societies are faced with two diametrically opposed weight-related problems. Firstly, the average weight of their populations is rising, together with the health, social and economic problems associated with overweight and obesity. The rise in weight is probably due to a combination of: time constraints; readily available inexpensive prepared foods, beverages and snack foods; and lower activity levels due to energy saving devices and more sedentary leisure activities. Secondly, the slim image, prevalent in these societies, results in weight loss measures even among those who are not overweight. This unnecessary and unrealistic 'striving for slimness' may result in poor eating habits, inadequate dietary intake, needless psychological pressure, and eating disorders. Preoccupation with a slim body image and restrictive eating practices is not solely an issue among adult populations, but is also alarmingly prevalent in adolescents.

In order to better understand some of these issues, we have examined the food, nutrition, weight and shape-related beliefs and behaviours of a group of adolescents in Northern Australia. In this chapter we: report on a study showing that beliefs of adolescents predict their weight loss behaviour; review information from the same population showing that beliefs are a better predictor of food choice than nutrition knowledge; and propose a model for food and weight related behaviour, which incorporates the individual's beliefs into the wen established Transtheoretical Model of Change.

Item ID: 3617
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-59454-768-3
Keywords: food and weight related behaviours; nutrition knowledge; body image; nutrition beliefs; adolescent nutrition; eating habits
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2009 00:57
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920411 Nutrition @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 20%
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