The objective of the study was to examine adolescents' attitudes about and consumption of low-fat foods by sex and weight-control behaviors. Ninth- to 12th-grade students (n=1,083) in 20 Minnesota high schools completed mail surveys (response rate=74%) as part of baseline measurements (Fall 2001) in a randomized controlled trial (TACOS: Trying Alternative Cafeteria Options in Schools). Linear models examined attitudes and consumption of low-fat foods by sex and weight-control behaviors. Girls were more likely than boys to report positive attitudes and consumption of low-fat foods (all P<.01). Weight-control practices were associated with more positive attitudes about and higher consumption of low-fat foods. Promoting low-fat snacks to adolescents who are interested in weight control may be an effective component of nutrition intervention programs because these students have more positive attitudes about low-fat foods. Dietitians' efforts to educate adolescents about the benefits and healthfulness of low-fat foods would aid intervention programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by NIH/R18 HL61305. The authors thank all of the students for completing the survey, and project staff and school personnel for conducting the mailings.