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Open AccessArticle

Development of a Healthy Dietary Habits Index for New Zealand Adults

School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 454;
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
Healthful dietary habits are individually associated with better nutrient intake and positive health outcomes; however, this information is rarely examined together to validate an indicator of diet quality. This study developed a 15-item Healthy Dietary Habits Index (HDHI) based on self-reported dietary habits information collected in the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. The validity of HDHI as a diet quality index was examined in relation to sociodemographic factors, 24-diet recall derived nutrient intakes, and nutritional biomarkers in a representative sample of adults aged 19 years and above. Linear regression models were employed to determine associations between HDHI quintiles and energy-adjusted nutrient data and nutritional biomarkers. Significantly higher HDHI scores were found among women, older age groups, Non-Māori or Pacific ethnic groups, and less socioeconomically-deprived groups (all p < 0.001). Increasing quintiles of HDHI were associated with higher intakes of dietary fibre and seven micronutrients including calcium, iron, and vitamin C, and lower intakes of energy, macronutrients, sodium, zinc, vitamins B6 and B12. Associations in the expected directions were also found for urinary sodium, whole blood folate, serum and red blood cell folate, and plasma selenium (all p < 0.001). The present findings suggest that the HDHI is a valid measure of diet quality as it is capable of discerning quality of diets of subgroups and ranking nutrient intakes among NZ adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet quality; food habits; nutrient intake; New Zealand adults diet quality; food habits; nutrient intake; New Zealand adults
MDPI and ACS Style

Wong, J.E.; Haszard, J.J.; Howe, A.S.; Parnell, W.R.; Skidmore, P.M.L. Development of a Healthy Dietary Habits Index for New Zealand Adults. Nutrients 2017, 9, 454.

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