Reported adoption of dietary fat and fiber recommendations among consumers

J Am Diet Assoc. 2000 Jan;100(1):52-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8223(00)00020-1.


Objective: To identify constraints in adopting dietary fat and fiber recommendations.

Design: A questionnaire was mailed to a sample of the general population, a convenience sample of persons with heart disease and cancer in 11 states, and registered dietitians in 5 states. The survey included questions on demographic and attitudinal factors that were correlated with specific practices to reduce fat intake and increase fiber intake.

Setting: From the general population sample of 6,206 eligible respondents (return rate of 51.5%), those selected were respondents who indicated that they would adopt a dietary recommendation if it were good for them (n = 2,682). Subsamples from the general population were matched to 362 registered dietitians and 147 persons with cancer or heart disease on selected demographic variables. Factors associated with adoption of specific behaviors were identified.

Statistical analysis performed: Statistical analysis included chi 2, factor analysis, and analysis of variance.

Results: The majority of persons who said they would adopt a fat-reducing behavior if it were good for their health reported practicing that behavior often or usually. More than 60% reported consuming whole grains; however, only 15% reported eating fruits and vegetables frequently. Among the general population sample, those more likely to practice a behavior had the following characteristics: female, college educated, older than 60 years, white, higher income, no children younger than 18 years, perceived health status as excellent, and absence of chronic disease. Registered dietitians and those with chronic disease were also more likely to follow dietary fat and fiber recommendations.

Applications: Nutrition education messages that lead to increased consumption of dietary fiber need to be developed. Nutrition educators should provide strategies for consumers for increasing use of fruits and vegetables in all meals. Good taste and convenience are critical components. The food industry may assist by providing a wider array of convenience entrees or side dishes that feature produce and whole grains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / psychology
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Educational Status
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • United States Department of Agriculture


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber