Tracking of dietary intake and factors associated with dietary change from early adolescence to adulthood: the ASH30 study

Obes Facts. 2009;2(3):157-65. doi: 10.1159/000219819. Epub 2009 Jun 5.


Objective: This paper describes the tracking of food intake from adolescence to adulthood according to location as an adult (at the time of the follow-up study) and gender. Additionally this paper explores factors associated with change in food intake.

Method: Two 3-day food diaries, demographic and socio-economic information were collected in 1980 and 2000 from the same 198 participants (81 male, 117 female). Foods consumed were assigned to the five categories in The Balance of Good Health (BGH) food model. The tracking of food intake was assessed using Pearson correlation analyses. In 2000 two questionnaires were completed. Demographic and key attributional factors, derived from closed and open-ended responses to the questionnaire, were compared with measured change using regression analysis.

Results: There was significant tracking of intake by food group from adolescence to adulthood according to location as an adult and gender. Eight combinations of descriptive variables and questionnaire factors were associated with change in intake of four of the five BGH food groups.

Conclusion: Between adolescence and adulthood, dietary tracking is influenced by variables including gender and location. Attributions for change in food intake were associated with measured changes in food intake. In order to support healthier eating habits, it is important to be aware of factors contributing to changes in food intake, such as parental influences and perceived influences of time and work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Eating*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Housing / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Parents
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult