Diet quality: associations with health messages included in the Danish Dietary Guidelines 2005, personal attitudes and social factors

Anja Pia Biltoft-Jensen, Margit Velsing Groth, Jeppe Matthiessen, Henrik Wachmann, Tue Christensen, Sisse Fagt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To Study the association between diet quality and the new health messages in the Danish Dietary Guidelines 2005, i.e. 'Eat a varied diet', 'Engage in regular physical activity' and 'Maintain a healthy body weight'. Design/setting/subjects: The study was cross-sectional, comprising a random sample of 3151 Danish adults aged 18-75 years. Dietary intake was estimated using a 7 d pre-coded food diary. information on social background, leisure-time physical activity, height, body weight and intention to eat healthily was Obtained by in-person interviews. Logistic regression models Were used to explore the independent effects of energy intake, leisure-time physical activity, food variety, BMI, age, gender, education, household income, location of residence and intention to eat healthily on the likelihood to have high diet quality measured by an index based on the intake of dietary fibre and Saturated fat. Results: Greater food variety (OR = 1.32 for women, 1.13 for men), high leisure-time physical activity (OR = 2.20 for women, 1.91 for men), frequent intentions to eat healthily (OR = 8.19 for women, 5.40 for men) and low energy intake (OR = 0.78 for women, 0.85 for men) were significantly associated with high diet quality. For women education was positively associated with diet quality. The study did not demonstrate any association between BMI and diet quality. Conclusion: The health behaviours 'Eat a varied diet' and 'Engage in regular physical activity were positively associated with healthy eating. The dietary habits reported were strongly influenced by personal intentions. Thus, the biggest challenge for public health nutritionists will be to reach non-compliers who seldom have intentions to eat healthily.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1165-1173
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Dietary guidelines
  • Health messages
  • Intention to eat healthily
  • Social factors
  • Diet quality

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