Sources of Nutrition Information in Relation to Weight Loss Behaviours Among Young Canadian Adults Trying to Lose Weight
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Weight loss efforts are pervasive among young adults and worrisome as they are associated with poor mental health and development of eating disorders. Data on weight loss behaviours are limited among Canadian youth, as is knowledge of environmental variables (e.g., information sources) that are associated with such behaviours. Current literature predominantly considers weight loss behaviours individually, despite evidence that health behaviours co-occur. This simplistic method of conceptualizing weight loss behaviours may have implications for research examining correlates and implications of strategies used to lose weight. The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of weight loss behaviours and nutrition information sources utilized among young Canadians (16-30 years of age) who reported trying to lose weight over the past year, and to examine associations between the sources consulted and weight loss methods utilized. Cross-sectional data were drawn from the first wave of the Canada Food Study, a cohort study of young adults from five urban areas. Factor analysis was used to identify patterns of weight loss behaviours. Four factors, or patterns, were identified: Dietary Changes, Purging and Restrictive Behaviours, Non-Prescribed Supplements and Formulas, and Health-Promoting Behaviours. Factor analysis was also used to examine covariation among the sources of nutrition information reported, again identifying four factors: Government and Health Association Materials, Health and Weight Loss Specialists, Commercial Sources, and Easily Accessible Sources. Building on insights from the factor analyses to operationalize variables, Poisson regression modelling was used to examine associations between information sources and weight loss behaviours. Associations were found between the nutrition information source used and weight loss behaviours. The findings of this study challenge others to re-examine the ways in which weight loss behaviours are conceptualized, and provide insights into the possible implications of relying on certain types of sources of nutrition information for weight loss behaviours.
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Miriam Price (2018). Sources of Nutrition Information in Relation to Weight Loss Behaviours Among Young Canadian Adults Trying to Lose Weight. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13838