Defining stage of change for lower-fat eating

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Objective: To test the validity of staging methodology for dietary fat reduction by examining cognitive profiles of persons classified in these groups: precontemplation, lower-fat maintenance (≤30% of energy as fat), and higher-fat maintenance (>30% of energy as fat). Design: Cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 491 women residing in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, recruited by telephone. Setting/subjects: Mean age of subjects was 43.7±12.2 years. The majority (58%) lived with a spouse or partner and had completed high school (68%). Statistical analyses: Multivariate analysis of variance was used to compare the pros and cons of lower-fat eating, level of self-efficacy in avoiding high-fat foods, and use of 9 processes of change to support lower-fat eating habits in women assigned to the precontemplation, higher-fat, and lower-fat maintenance stages. Results: When compared with subjects classified in the precontemplation stage, the 2 groups of subjects in the maintenance stage had higher ratings of the pros (49.7±9.5 vs 43.7±7.2, P<.05), lower ratings of the cons (47.2±8.2 vs 51.9±11.8, P<.05), higher self-efficacy scores, and more frequent use of processes of change than subjects classified in the precontemplation stage. No differences between women in the 2 maintenance groups were observed in selfefficacy; however, those in the lower-fat maintenance group reported lower cons than those in the higher-fat maintenance group (46.2±7.2 vs 48.2±9.1, P<.05) and more frequent use of all processes of change. Conclusions/applications: Stage of change for dietary fat reduction is a cognitive variable that provides insights into attitudes about and motivations to consume lower-fat foods.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of the American Dietetic Association