Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
Objectives : Self-perceived diet quality is an important psychosocial factor that can influence dietary patterns. Several studies have found an association between this variable and health-related behaviors, such as eating fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly. However, this relationship has not been well studied among minority groups. The aim of this research was to examine the associations between sociodemographic and health-related variables and self-perception of diet quality among adults living in Puerto Rico.
Methods : This was a cross-sectional study. A researcher-designed questionnaire was distributed within a particular community. One questionnaire was given per household to be answered by everyone living in the house. A multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between the dependent variable, self-perceived diet quality (specified as excellent/very good/good or fair/poor), and the following independent variables: age groups, sex, education, poverty level estimate, self-rated health, intake of fruits or vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages and fast-food, physical activity, recreational screen time (as a proxy for sedentary time), and BMI categories.
Results : A total of 106 questionnaires were distributed and 93 were returned, with data collected for 254 individuals. Children (n=57) and adults with missing data (n=5) were excluded from the analysis. The final sample consisted of 192 adults aged ≥18 years. Among these, 53.1% were females, 52.0% completed more than high school, 41.7% were below the poverty level estimate, and 61.5% were either overweight or obese. A total of 26.6% of the participants described their diet as fair/poor. Fair/poor self-perceived diet quality was associated with higher odds of reporting fair/poor self-rated health, consuming less than one cup of fruits or vegetables per day, eating at fast-food one or more times per week, and spending three hours or more per day using a screen for recreational purposes.
Conclusions : Self-perception of diet quality was associated with certain health-related behaviors in our sample. Future research should examine the association between self-perceived and objective diet quality, as previous research has shown that Puerto Ricans have poor knowledge of dietary recommendation.
Funding Sources : N/A