SRF043: Male/Female Differences in Diet, Attitudes Toward Healthy Eating and Food Access among Primary Care Patients
Clare Schrodt, BS; Niel Patel, BS; Tiffany Ju, BS; Carissa van den Berk-Clark, PhD, MSW
Context: Research suggests that 6 of the top 10 causes of death in the US are from chronic diseases, and poor diet remains a crucial social determinant in the development and prognosis of these diseases. Studies also show gender differences in chronic disease type, prevalence and mortality. However, to our knowledge, there are no studies that measure gender differences in diet, food attitudes, and food access together among primary care populations. Objective: To determine whether male and female primary care patients have different diets, food access, and attitudes toward healthy eating. Human Subjects Review: Approved by Full Saint Louis University IRB Board # 29557. Design: Survey. Setting: Community-based primary care clinics (N=11). Participants: Primary care patients (N = 489). Intervention/Instrument: Brief Dietary Assessment, UK Food Standards Agency Assessment on Attitudes, USDA Food Security Measure. Outcome Measure: Diet, attitudes toward healthy eating, and food access. Anticipated Results: Preliminary results show females are more likely to have a higher BMI (Mean=32.4±8.7 vs 30.3±8.8 for males, t(447)=2.40, p<.02), while males engage in more sweetened drink consumption (25% men 3+ drinks per day vs. 16% women, X2(2)=6.11 (p<.05). Additionally, females are more likely to consult their doctor about nutritional information than males (35% women consult doctors vs. 20% men, X2(2)=7.47 (p<.01). Females are also more likely to report that the fear of food going bad and being wasted is a barrier to their consumption of fruits and vegetables (24% women vs. 16% men, X2(1)=4.20 (p<.04)) . Conclusions: Females tend to seek more nutritional guidance from primary care providers than males, while males tend to engage in higher sweetened drink consumption, suggesting there are differences in diet behaviors and attitudes between genders that can be addressed at a primary care level. This study is limited because of its use of an urban and suburban convenience sample in a midwestern city. More research is needed to confirm these findings.