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Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 716;

Behavioral Correlates of Empirically-Derived Dietary Patterns among University Students

Department of Community Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences, Center for Population Health & Health Disparities, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
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Given the importance of young adulthood in establishing lifelong dietary habits, it is imperative to better understand potential underlying drivers of dietary behavior in the university-age population. Dietary patterns have been associated with disease risk, but behavioral predictors of dietary pattern adherence are poorly understood, especially among emerging adults. This study aims to evaluate health-related behaviors associated with dietary pattern scores among freshmen participating in the Tufts Longitudinal Health Study (TLHS; n = 630). We previously derived dietary patterns using principal components analysis and orthogonal rotation from dietary intake data. Health-related behavior data were collected via survey. All data were collected during the Spring semesters of 1998–2007. Unadjusted linear models were used to determine associations between dietary pattern scores and health-related behaviors. Significant correlates were retained in multivariable regression models, which were adjusted for demographic characteristics. We found that never eating meals away from home was associated with higher adherence to the Prudent and lower adherence to the Western and Alcohol patterns. Intention to lose weight was negatively associated with the Western pattern, while intention to gain weight was positively associated with all dietary patterns. These findings suggest that intervention efforts aimed at improving eating out behaviors and engaging in healthy weight management strategies may promote healthier dietary patterns among university students. View Full-Text
Keywords: university students; dietary patterns; health behaviors; emerging adulthood university students; dietary patterns; health behaviors; emerging adulthood

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Mueller, M.P.; Blondin, S.A.; Korn, A.R.; Bakun, P.J.; Tucker, K.L.; Economos, C.D. Behavioral Correlates of Empirically-Derived Dietary Patterns among University Students. Nutrients 2018, 10, 716.

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