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Social support, but not perceived food environment, is associated with diet quality in French-speaking Canadians from the PREDISE study

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The objectives were to assess whether social support for healthy eating and perceived food environment are associated with diet quality, and to investigate if sociodemographic characteristics moderate these associations. A probability sample of French-speaking adults from the Province of Québec, Canada, was recruited in the context of the PREDISE study. Participants reported their perceptions of supportive and non-supportive actions related to healthy eating from close others at home and outside of home (n = 952), and of the accessibility to healthy foods (n = 1035). The Canadian Healthy Eating Index (C-HEI) was calculated based on three Web-based 24 h food recalls. Multiple linear regression models showed that supportive (B = 1.50 (95% CI 0.46, 2.54)) and non-supportive (B = −3.06 (95% CI −4.94, −1.18)) actions related to healthy eating from close others at home were positively and negatively associated with C-HEI, respectively, whereas actions from close others outside of home were not. The negative association between non-supportive actions occurring at home and C-HEI was stronger among participants with lower (vs. higher) levels of education (p interaction = 0.03). Perceived accessibility to healthy foods was not associated with C-HEI (p > 0.05). These results suggest that the social environment may have a stronger influence on healthy eating than the perceived physical environment. This adds support for healthy eating promotion programs involving entire families, especially for more socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, whose efforts to eat healthily may be more easily thwarted by non-supportive households



Nutrients, Vol. 11 (12), 3030-3044 (2019)



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Social support, Food environment, Diet quality, Sociodemographic characteristics, Healthy eating index


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