Women’s readiness to follow milk product consumption recommendations: design and evaluation of a ‘stage of change’ algorithm
To investigate readiness to follow milk product consumption recommendations in two random samples of New Zealand women, using an algorithm designed and evaluated to assess the stage of change construct of the Transtheoretical Model.Protocol
Women were classified according to stage of readiness to perform two goal behaviours: consumption of two or four servings of milk products per day. Stage classification, as determined by the algorithm, was evaluated by estimating mean calcium intake in each stage using a validated food frequency questionnaire. This was undertaken in two independent samples of women randomly selected from the electoral rolls of two cities in New Zealand’s South Island.Results
Over 60% of women were classified as maintaining an intake of two servings of milk products per day. Of those women not meeting the goal of two servings per day, 73% had no intention of increasing their consumption. Over 80% of women were in the precontemplation stage for consuming four servings of milk products per day. Mean calcium intakes were significantly higher in women classified in action and maintenance stages than in preaction stages of change for both goal behaviours.Conclusion
Of those women not currently meeting the recommendation for two servings of milk products per day, most are in precontemplation, a stage characterized by resistance to change. Use of the staging algorithm developed in this study makes possible the classification of women according to their readiness to change, and thus the provision of appropriate stage-tailored advice.