The Nutrition Attitude Survey: associations with dietary habits, psychological and physical well-being, and coronary risk factors.

J. F. Hollis, T. P. Carmody, S. L. Connor, S. G. Fey, J. D. Matarazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Attitudes play an important role in the adoption and maintenance of a variety of health habits. In the present study, the Nutrition Attitude Survey (NAS) was developed to measure attitudes pertaining to the adoption of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Factor analysis identified four primary attitudinal factors: Helpless and Unhealthy, Food Exploration, Meat Preference, and Health Consciousness. For a community sample of 415 healthy men and women, relationships were examined among these attitudinal factors and dietary habits, family food patterns, medical and psychological symptoms, and traditional coronary risk factors. For both men and women, the Helpless and Unhealthy factor was associated with increased meat consumption, weight, emotional distress, reported medical and psychological symptoms, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The Food Exploration factor was more characteristic of younger men and women and positively associated with men's reported involvement in family food preparation activities. For both sexes, Meat Preference scores were positively associated with meat consumption and inversely associated with consumption of meatless meals, beans, and fruit. Health Consciousness factor scores were associated with less meat consumption, more meatless meals, and better overall dietary adherence scores for both men and women. Overall, the findings provide initial support for the reliability and predictive validity of the NAS and underscore the importance of assessing and addressing the attitudes and preferences of participants in dietary intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-374
Number of pages16
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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