Dietary Patterns of Adults in Québec and their Nutritional Adequacy

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The purpose of this study was to identify dietary patterns among adults in Québec and to determine their relationship to nutritional adequacy of the diet. We used 24-hour food recall data on 2,104 adults from the Québec nutrition survey (1990). Nutritional adequacy was assessed based on the 1990 Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians; dietary patterns were assessed via a factor analysis of the 30 food groups consumed. The three major patterns identified (‘high-energy density’, ‘traditional’ and ‘health-conscious’) explained 18% of the variation in food intake. Only the ‘health-conscious’ pattern correlated positively with the four chosen indicators of nutritional adequacy. Generally, men scored positively on the ‘high-energy density’ and the ‘traditional’ pattern whereas women scored positively on the ‘health-conscious’ pattern. Aside from sex, scoring was most related to age and education. The use of these patterns to define and target nutrition interventions should be tested in the aim of improving the effectiveness of health promotion.


Cette étude visait à identifier les habitudes alimentaires de la population adulte du Québec et à vérifier leur relation avec la qualité nutritionnelle de l’alimentation. Nous avons utilisé les rappels alimentaires de 24 heures effectués chez 2 104 adultes lors de l’enquête provinciale sur la nutrition (1990). La qualité nutritionnelle a été déterminée en fonction des Recommandations sur la nutrition de 1990 et des habitudes alimentaires par une analyse factorielle des 30 groupes d’aliments consommés. Les principaux habitudes identifiés (‘densité énergétique élevée’, ‘traditionnel’, et ‘santé’) expliquaient 18 % de la variance dans l’apport alimentaire. Seul l’habitude ‘santé’ était corrélé positivement avec les quatre indicateurs de la qualité nutritionnelle retenus. Généralement, les hommes avaient un résultat positif pour les habitudes ‘densité énergétique élevée’ et ‘traditionnel’ et les femmes pour l’habitude ‘santé’. Outre le sexe, les scores ont surtout varié en fonction de l’âge et du niveau d’éducation. L’utilisation de ces habitudes pour définir et cibler des interventions en nutrition devrait être testée en vue d’améliorer les efforts de promotion de la santé.

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Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Micheline Beaudry PhD, PDt.

Additional information

This work was partially funded by a grant from the Dairy Farmers of Canada (1993–95).

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Beaudry, M., Galibois, I. & Chaumette, P. Dietary Patterns of Adults in Québec and their Nutritional Adequacy. Can J Public Health 89, 347–351 (1998).

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