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Expectations of reducing fat intake: the role of perceived need within the Theory of Planned Behaviour

By C M Paisley and P Sparks


Dietary fat intake has been implicated in the causation of major diseases including coronary heart disease and cancer. Hence, current recommendations to improve health emphasise the reduction of fat intake (COMA, 1991). The present study investigated the effect of perceived need to reduce fat intake and past behaviour on peoples' expectations of reducing fat intake, using the framework of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen, 1985; 1991). The effects of estimated fat intake and body weight on perceived need to reduce were also investigated. One hundred and fifty-two adults completed a four-day weighed dietary record and completed a questionnaire based on the TPB. Perceived need to reduce fat intake, cognitive and affective components of attitude and past behaviour were found to be significant predictors of expectation of reducing fat intake. Perceived body weight and estimated fat intake were significant predictors of perceived need to reduce fat intake. The implications of these findings for health promotion policy are discussed

Publisher: Psychology and Health
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1080/08870449808406755
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