The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
RH has conducted the statistical analysis, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. AA contributed to acquisition of data and drafting of the manuscript. IA contributed to conception and design of the study, acquisition of data and drafting of the manuscript. KG contributed to conception and design of the study, interpretation of the data and drafting of the manuscript. MK contributed to conception and design of the study, interpretation of data and drafting of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Dietary behaviors are influenced by many individual and environmental factors. This study explores how dietary fat intake in high-risk midlife adults living in the rural south is influenced by three behavior settings, i.e. in the home, at work, and at church.
Self-report data were collected from rural African American or Caucasian adults age 40–70 at three time points at baseline, 6, and 12 months post baseline. Multilevel analyses investigated the impact of determinants of fat intake over time.
Home and work environments varied significantly over time in regard to healthy eating while church environments remained stable. Age, gender, and self-efficacy for healthy eating were individual factors associated with fat intake. In the home, presence of more high fat items, a time-varying variable, was significant. In the work environment, having access to healthy foods as well as healthy eating programs has positive impact as did hearing healthy eating messages and availability of healthy foods at church.
Understanding stability and variability of dietary fat intake from a social ecologic perspective will aid in identifying targets of change for intervention. Understanding which components of key behavior settings are dynamic and which are relatively stable will help to disentangle the complexity of multi-level determinants of dietary behavior.