Health-related concerns can often be factors influencing health-related behaviours. It remains unclear whether a high level of concerns is associated with pro-healthy or unhealthy dietary behaviours and whether any associations between nutrition-related concerns and dietary behaviours exist in a population of girls and young women. The aim of the study was to investigate the associations between perceived health and nutrition concerns and dietary patterns in a representative sample of Polish young females. Data was collected in 2012 through a cross-sectional quantitative survey within the GEBaHealth (Girls Eating Behaviours and Health) project in a group of 1107 Polish girls aged 13–21 years old. Dietary patterns were identified by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) based on dietary data collected with Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs). Nutrition and health concerns were assessed separately by two indices: Health Concern Index (HCI) and Nutrition Concern Index (NCI); both based on the Health Concern Scale (HCS). The associations between perceived health and nutrition concerns and each dietary pattern were investigated using logistic regression analysis. Displaying a higher level of health concerns increased the chances of adherence to the upper tertile of ‘Fruit & vegetables’ pattern (adjusted odds ratio [adj. ORs]: 1.46, 95% Confidence Interval [95% CI]: 1.02–2.10). Displaying a lower level of health concerns increased the chances of the adherence to the upper tertiles of ‘Traditional Polish’, ‘Dairy & fats’, ‘Fruit and vegetables’ and ‘Fast food & sweets’ patterns (adj. ORs: 1.87, 95% CI: 1.31–2.67; 1.66, 95% CI: 1.18–2.34; 1.57, 95% CI: 1.11–2.22; 1.52, 95% CI: 1.08–2.13; respectively). No significant associations were found between levels of nutrition concerns and dietary patterns in the adjusted model. We found associations between self-perceived health concerns and dietary patterns in our study sample, suggesting health concerns can be an important predictor of dietary behaviours in girls and young women. To increase the effectiveness of healthy eating, an emphasis should be laid on health, reinforced with awareness of nutrition, when advising on food-related decisions.
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