Highlights from the October 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

CHICAGO -- The October 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest. Below is a summary of some of this month's articles.

Gender Differences and Dieting Trends among College Students
Women college students are more likely than men to diet or try other weight-loss practices, while men who attempt weight loss typically try exercise rather than dieting, according to researchers at the University of Nebraska.

The study found differences between men and women related to dieting trends and sources of nutrition knowledge and beliefs. For example, a significantly larger percentage of women than men reported they had tried low-fat diets (19.3 percent vs. 7.6 percent), low-carbohydrate diets (15.5 percent vs. 10 percent) and vegetarian diets (4.4 percent vs. 0 percent). Other findings include:

  • More men than women reported never having tried a diet (79.1 percent vs. 65.6 percent).
  • More women than men obtained most of their nutrition information from family (58 percent vs. 40 percent) and magazines and newspapers (43.1 percent vs. 30.5 percent).
  • More women than men agreed that they eat too much sugar (59.7 percent vs. 41.9 percent); that it is important to limit carbohydrate consumption (46.4 percent vs. 27.6 percent); that it is important to limit fats to lose weight (71.7 percent vs. 52.4 percent) and that they need to lose weight (57.4 percent vs. 28.6 percent).

According to the researchers: "These findings are in agreement with reports of women's tendency to hold stronger beliefs related to nutrition than men. Though men have some sensitivity to body fat, women are much more sensitive."

Virtually all participants in the study (94.4 percent) agreed that it is important to eat a variety of foods for good health. Three quarters said they believe nutritional content of foods is important and that "a right ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins" exists to achieve and maintain health.

The researchers conclude: "The nutritional quality of diets may differ by sex, but our study showed no significant difference in the perception of healthfulness of diet."

School Vending Machines, Fast-Food Restaurants and Sugar Intake among Children Children's purchases from school vending machines are likely to be soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks, and children who eat at fast-food restaurants are more likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages than children who do not visit fast-food places, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The researchers studied the daily sugar-sweetened beverage (regular soda, fruit drinks and iced tea) purchases from school vending machines and visits to fast-food restaurants of nearly 1,500 students in 10 different middle schools. According to the study, 71 percent of the students reported purchasing sugar-sweetened beverages (either a sweetened drink or a non-diet soda), including 68 percent who bought one to three vending machine items, and 79 percent who bought four or more.

"The number of items youth purchased at school vending machines was directly associated with sugar-sweetened beverage purchase and intake," the researchers write. Sugar-sweetened drinks "were purchased by more students than any other type of item," more than three times the number of purchases of the next most popular drink: water.

The study found that the number of children's visits to fast-food restaurants "was also directly associated" with drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. "These findings suggest that school vending machines and fast-food restaurants make independent contributions to total (sugar-sweetened beverage) intake that increase with repeated exposure or use."

Additional research articles in the October Journal of the American Dietetic Association include:

  • "The Food Propensity Questionnaire (FPQ): Concept, Development and Validation for Use as a Covariate in Model to Estimate Usual Food Intake"
  • "A New Statistical Method for Estimating the Usual Intake of Episodically Consumed Foods with Application to Their Distribution"
  • "Development of a New Instrument for Evaluating Individuals' Dietary Intake"
  • "A Diet Quality Index for American Preschoolers Based on Current Dietary Intake Recommendations and an Indicator of Energy Balance"
  • "Correlates of Fat Intake Behaviors in Participants of the Eating for a Healthy Life Study"
  • "A Novel Dysphagia Diet Improves the Nutritional Intake of Institutionalized Elders"
  • "Effect of Stanol-Enriched Diet on Plasma Cholesterol and Triglycerides in Statin-Treated Patients."

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For more information or to receive a copy of a Journal article, e-mail media@eatright.org.

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association is the official research publication of the American Dietetic Association and is the premier peer-reviewed journal in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

With approximately 65,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Chicago-based ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. To locate a registered dietitian in your area, visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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