Use of qualitative and quantitative methods to define behavioral fat- reduction strategies and their relationship to dietary fat reduction in the patterns of dietary change study

D. P. Keenan, C. Achterberg, P. M. Kris-Etherton, R. Abusabha, A. Von Eye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Objective: The purposes of this study were to identify specific food choice behaviors used to decrease dietary fat intake in a community-dwelling population; assess how people categorize changes to diet; determine whether logical grouping of food intake changes revealed one or more common patterns or strategies used by these participants to decrease fat; and determine which strategies were responsible for the greatest decrease in dietary fat intake in the study population. Design: Survey analysis and in-depth interviews were used to quantitatively and qualitatively define dietary change patterns retrospectively in a population who, according to self-report, had decreased their fat intake. Specific food changes made to decrease fat intake, interview statements, and participants' reduction of percentage energy from fat were examined. Setting: Interviews were conducted from June 1993 through April 1994. Subjects: Included in the study were 145 persons aged 30 to 55 years who reported that they had been decreasing their dietary fat intake for 5 years or more, maintained a healthful diet for at least 5 months, and resided in the United States while changing their diets. Statistical analyses performed: Confirmatory factor analysis, reliability analysis, and linear regression analysis were performed. Results: Nine fat-reduction strategies were identified. Decrease fat flavorings, decrease 'recreational foods,' decrease cooking fat, replace meat, change breakfast, and use fat-modified foods accounted for significant reduction in fat intake. Conclusions: People use a variety of dietary changes to reduce their fat intake. These changes can be categorized into strategies according to the way people change their diets. Knowledge of these strategies and their importance in dietary fat reduction can improve and help nutritionists prioritize the messages they convey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1250+1253
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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