Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



The rising rates of obesity and overweight are contributing to higher costs for the individual and the nation, both medically and financially. There is a greater need for education and other preventive measures, but in order to tailor such programs effectively to the individuals most in need, it is important to examine the current trends, knowledge, and practices of adults in the United States. Previous research has examined the prevalence rates and practices of specific populations and individuals in limited geographical locations but, due to obvious constraints, few nationally representative samples have been examined. This study analyzed the results of the Diet and Health Knowledge Survey 1994-1996 (DHKS 1994-1996) in the context of dieting and nutritional knowledge and practices of adults in the United States. Factor analyses were conducted on the dietary knowledge and practices portion of the survey for data reduction. To examine the effects of various demographic variables on dietary knowledge and practices, the resulting subscales and various demographic variables were subjected to multivariate analyses. This study also employed logistic regression analyses to examine who is currently dieting and the likelihood of a health professional as the source of the diet. The factor analyses resulted in an interview with 50 key questions and 12 factors related to the consequences of poor nutrition, dietary beliefs, dietary practices, and dietary knowledge. Results indicated that dieters were most likely to be females and individuals with higher income, higher BMI level, and higher education. Among dieters, individuals with a medical condition were more likely to report a health professional as the source of their diet. Dieters also tended to report healthier dietary practices than non-dieters. Additional main effects and interactions are discussed further.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Donald Williamson



Included in

Psychology Commons