Intrapersonal, socio-environmental and physical-environmental factors which predict healthy eating practices in Dutch adults

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Introduction Despite global efforts to make healthy choices, the easiest choices, people’s eating practices are still challenged daily. We can identify multiple challenges in our modern ‘obesogenic’ environment. For instance, the sheer overabundance of food, as well as marketing techniques and pricing strategies which favor the overconsumption and accessibility of sugary and fatty foods. Much of the past research on food choice has focused on studying individuals that do not manage these challenges and as a result make unhealthy food choices. However, very little research has focused on the small number of individuals that DO make healthy food choices despite these challenges. What factors enable them to cope with these risks successfully and as a result make healthy food choices? This study aimed to study these enabling factors which support healthy eating in Dutch adults. Materials and Methods This research applied Antonovsky’s salutogenic framework for health development.This is a positive-oriented framework which studies factors which enable coping, health-promoting behaviors and good health. We used the framework to develop a survey instrument to study intrapersonal, social-environmental, and physical-environmental factors which predict healthy eating practices in a cross-sectional study of Dutch adults. Participants (n=703) aged 18 years and older completed the study’s survey in January 2013. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to test the association of survey factors on the outcome variable high dietary score. Results In the multivariate logistic regression model, six factors were significantly (p < .05) related to high dietary score: being female; living with partner; sense of coherence (a construct from the salutogenic framework, relates to one’s capability to deal with stress), flexible restraint of eating, and self-efficacy for healthy eating. Key Findings Findings support previous studies which found associations between healthier eating practices and sense of coherence. Within the multivariate model, intrapersonal factors were more significant predictors of a high dietary score whereas socio-environmental and physical –environmental factors were not significant. Previously identified predictors of food choices including income; education level; employment; and nutrition knowledge were not significant factors in our overall model. Future research should further study these intrapersonal factors identified in our study to better understand their origins and mechanisms in relation to healthy eating practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-62
JournalAnnals of Nutrition & Metabolism
Issue numbersuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2015
Event12th European Nutrion Conference (FENS) - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 20 Oct 201523 Oct 2015

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