Year of Publication

2016

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Christina Studts, PhD

Committee Member

Mark Swanson, PhD

Committee Member

Kate Eddens, PhD

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, increasing their risk for multiple chronic diseases. Self-rated diet health may be useful in public health efforts to prevent the negative consequences of overweight/obesity. This study aims to identify sociodemographic and health-related correlates of the NHANES self-rated diet health question.

METHODS: The 2009-2010 NHANES data for adults 20 years and older were used. Sociodemographic and health-related variables were investigated with selfrated diet health as the outcome. First, bivariate analyses determined associations of each variable with self-rated diet health. Those associated with pvalues ≤.25 were included in two multiple ordinal logistic regression models.

RESULTS: Model 1 included only sociodemographic variables; all were independently and significantly associated with self-rated diet health. Healthrelated variables were added to Model 2; only BMI, overweight diagnosis, and self-rated general health were independently and significantly associated with self-rated diet health.

CONCLUSION: Perceived diet health is significantly associated with several sociodemographic and health-related variables. Associations with BMI and overweight diagnosis suggest potential public health applications of the self-rated diet health item, particularly in increasing at-risk individuals’ risk perceptions related to diet. More research about the validity and utility of the self-rated diet health question is needed.

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