The goal of the study was to characterize the dietary patterns of adult men and women.
The study used a cross-sectional analysis of food consumption behaviors and nutrient intake measured from 1984 through 1988.
The Framingham Offspring/Spouse Study, Framingham, Massachusetts.
The population-based sample comprised 1831 men and 1828 women between 20 and 70 years of age.
Dietary patterns were defined by cluster analyses, which used the estimates of usual daily food intake from food frequency questionnaires, and the patterns were compared with Food Guide Pyramid recommendations. Nutrient intakes were independently estimated from 24-hour recalls and compared with Year 2000 nutrition recommendations.
Cluster analyses identified five groups of men and five groups of women with distinctive dietary patterns. Men differed on intakes of all food groups except vegetables and snacks plus sweetened beverages. Specific dietary behaviors, including low intakes of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and other complex carbohydrates; high intakes of beer and liquor; and high intakes of high-fat animal foods warrant targeted intervention messages for men. Women's patterns differed across all food groups except red meats and fattier poultry and beer. Dietary behaviors of women that deserve attention include low fruit, vegetable, starch, and dietary intakes; chronic dieting; high alcohol intake; and sources of hidden fats. No cluster met the current recommendations for food and nutrient intake.
Distinct dietary patterns in Framingham men and women vary in compliance with national nutrition and health policy objectives and provide insights for developing behavioral interventions to improve food and nutrient intake.