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1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Objectives: For effective healthy eating promotion, it is necessary to understand the attitudes towards and beliefs about nutrition of the general public. The objective of this study was to provide date on attitudes towards eating a healthy diet and the perceived need to alter eating habits from a random sample of adults in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland, using a self-administered questionnaire. Design: Cross-sectional survey using a self administered attitudinal questionnaire on beliefs and attitudes to healthy eating. Setting: The survey was carried out between October, 1997 and October, 1999 in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. Subjects: A randomly selected sample of 1256 adults from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland completed the attitudinal questionnaire Results: A majority of subjects (62%) perceived that they make conscious efforts to eat a healthy diet either most of the time or quite often, while just over half (52%) agreed that they do not need to make changes to their diet as it is healthy enough. Subjects most likely to make conscious efforts to try to eat a healthy diet were females, older subjects (51-64 years) and those with the highest intakes of fruit and vegetables and lowest quartile of fat (%food energy). When self-assesses adequacy of fruit and vegetables was examined, two-thirds of the total sample felt they ate too little fruit while just one-third felt they ate too little vegetables.
Kearney, J. et al:Attitudes Towards and Beliefs about Nutrition and Health Among a Random Sample of Adults in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 4, 5a, pp.1117-1126.