Cancer prevention-related nutrition knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of U.S. adults: 1992 NHIS cancer epidemiology supplement

Lisa Harnack, Gladys Block, Amy Subar, Sylvia Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe the cancer prevention-related nutrition knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of U.S. adults. Data collected for the 1992 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Epidemiology Supplement were analyzed. The Supplement was completed by 12,005 adults aged 18 years and older. Frequency distributions were calculated. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to explore differences in knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes according to selected factors. Most adults (83%) believe that good eating habits may reduce their chances of developing major diseases. Of those who held this belief, 66% named cancer as a disease that might be related to what people eat or drink. Among those who believed cancer to be related to what people eat or drink, eating more fiber (72%), more fruits and vegetables (66%), and less fat (60%) were mentioned most frequently as foods/nutrients that affect cancer risk. Conflicting dietary advice, cost of eating a healthy diet, and social support were the most salient perceived barriers to having a healthful diet. Knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes were found to vary by age, sex, ethnicity, poverty, and education. Findings suggest that, although a moderate majority are aware of the relationship between diet and cancer, fewer are knowledgeable about nutrients/foods that influence risk. Differences found in knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes by various socioeconomic factors suggest that nutrition intervention strategies may need to be targeted and tailored to various population subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume30
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1998

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