Predictors of dietary change and maintenance in the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine



Document Type



Age Factors; Aged; Analysis of Variance; Cereals; Diet, Fat-Restricted; Dietary Fats; Educational Status; Energy Intake; Female; Fruit; Health Planning; Health Surveys; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Middle Aged; Nutritional Sciences; Patient Compliance; Postmenopause; Vegetables; *Women's Health


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors of dietary change to and maintenance of a low-fat eating pattern (or = 5 servings fruits/vegetables daily, and > or = 6 servings grains daily) among a cohort of postmenopausal women. Candidate predictors included intrapersonal, interpersonal, intervention program characteristics, and clinical center.

DESIGN: Longitudinal study within the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. Dietary change was evaluated after 1 year of participation in the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial, and dietary maintenance after 3 years.

SUBJECTS: Postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years at baseline who were randomized to the intervention arm of the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial (n=19,541).

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Univariate and multivariate linear regression analysis was performed and associations evaluated between candidate predictors and each of the three dietary goals: percent energy from fat, fruit/vegetable servings, and grain servings.

RESULTS: Year 1 (change) predictors of percent energy from fat (PCONCLUSIONS: The strongest predictors of dietary change and maintenance were attending intervention sessions and self-monitoring dietary intake. Novel was the finding that optimism predicted dietary change.

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Citation: J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Jul;107(7):1155-66. Link to article on publisher's site

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