Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

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

Committee Chair

Christina Studts, PhD

Committee Member

Mark Swanson, PhD

Committee Member

Kate Eddens, PhD


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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