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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations for Healthful Dietary Change in African Americans

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Objective : To describe associations of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for dietary change with participant characteristics and current diet among African Americans.

Methods : Cross-sectional survey of 658 African American adults in North Carolina provided information on intrinsic (self-image and health concerns) and extrinsic (social influence) motivation scales, participant characteristics, and diet.

Results : Most respondents considered it important to change their diet for health reasons; fewer were motivated by self-image or social influence. Motivation scales were significantly associated with demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial characteristics and fat, but not fruit/vegetable consumption, after adjustment for covariates (P<0.05).

Conclusion : Tailoring on intrinsic and extrinsic motives may improve the effectiveness of dietary interventions in African Americans.
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Keywords: African Americans; diet; dietary change; dietary fat; extrinsic; fruits and vegetables; intrinsic; motivations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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