To assess adults' knowledge of dietary recommendations, food sources of key nutrients, food choices, and diet-disease relationships.
A previously validated survey, designed to assess nutrition knowledge, was adapted for use in Prince Edward Island and mailed to a random sample of 3,500 adults (aged 18 to 74). Dillman's Total Design Method was followed and a response rate of 26.4% achieved. Mean scores and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for the overall survey and for each section. Demographic variations were assessed by univariate analysis.
Of an overall possible score of 110 points, the mean score with 95% CI was 71.0 (70.1, 71.9). Respondents scored higher on the sections on dietary recommendations, food sources, and food choices than diet-disease relationships. Demographic differences existed in gender, age, education, and income. Findings suggest that adults have good general knowledge of dietary recommendations, but lack knowledge about how to make healthier food choices and the impact of diet on disease risk.
When designing intervention strategies, dietitians should consider targeted messages to provide adults with the information they need to make healthy food choices.