Community attitudes toward public policies to control alcohol, tobacco, and high-fat food consumption

Am J Prev Med. Jan-Feb 1990;6(1):12-9.


We report the results of a survey conducted in upper-midwestern communities to assess public attitudes toward policy level interventions to moderate the use of alcohol, tobacco, and high-fat food. Four hundred thirty-eight women and 383 men were asked to indicate how much they favored or did not favor 29 policy proposals. Results showed that regulatory controls in all three areas were favored by the general public. Support was strongest for alcohol and tobacco controls, less so for high-fat food. Interventions designed to protect children and youths were most strongly endorsed, followed by restrictions on advertising and direct control over conditions of sale. Women favored all interventions more than men. There was a strong positive association between age and support for measures to moderate alcohol use. Individuals reporting least personal use of alcohol, tobacco, and high-fat foods were most in favor of control policies. The results of this survey indicate specific measures that might be most readily enacted and what segments of the population are likely to be most and least receptive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholic Beverages*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Attitude to Health
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Food*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Primary Prevention / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Public Policy*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tobacco*


  • Dietary Fats