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An exploratory study of attitudes, beliefs and practices related to the interim dietary guidelines for reducing cancer in the elderly.


In this pilot study, a self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the health attitudes, beliefs and practices related to each of the Interim Dietary Guidelines for Reducing Cancer Risk (I.D.G.R.C.R.) in a convenience sample of elderly Caucasian subjects (N = 30) over 60 years old. The questionnaire items included personal efficacy, perceived motivators and barriers, and current practices related to the compliance of each of the dietary guidelines. The distributions of responses to the questionnaire items show variations in the subjects' attitudes, beliefs and current dietary practices related to each of the dietary guidelines. Most subjects reported current practice of most guidelines except the guideline of a low fat diet. Most of the time, the subjects perceived one or more motivations to comply with the guidelines of eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, and eating dark green or deep yellow vegetables. Taste and health benefits were shown to be important factors among motivators influencing the compliance to the dietary guidelines. The findings of this exploratory study have direct implications for planning nutrition intervention programs for cancer risk reduction in the elderly.

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