Increasing public interest in nutrition has paralleled growing numbers of followers of popular dietary patterns (e.g. Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, whole food plant based, whole food omnivorous) who typically emphasize more unrefined foods than is seen with followers of the traditional Western diet. The question of how individuals can successfully adhere to healthier dietary patterns is of great public health importance due to the growing burden of chronic disease risk associated with overweight/obesity.
Data on behavior change relevant to adopting healthier diets for reasons other than weight-loss is lacking. Many factors within the Social-Ecological Framework potentially play a role in the determination of dietary choice, including psychobiological, social, cultural, economic, environmental factors and the built environment. Although individual factors have been examined independently with respect to dietary adherence (in the context of weight loss), there is a great need to study these factors collectively to better understand their interactions and their ultimate effect on dietary adherence.
To further examine diet patterns and behavior, we are launching a new study, ADAPT, at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. This study will collect a breadth of evidence on the psychobiological, cultural, social, and environmental predictors of long-term dietary adherence to healthy dietary patterns in US adults.
At this time, we are planning to invite previous respondents to the ADAPT Feasibility Survey and new respondents to participate in our first full baseline data collection, planned for spring, 2017. If you would like to be contacted to join the full study at that time, please join our contact list for study updates and participation invitations. We truly value your participation and role in helping us better understand diet patterns and behaviors!
When we begin our full study in 2017, we will be able to investigate some initial questions around dietary adherence, including:
- How do the diets of people who self-identify as following a particular diet or dietary pattern compare to the principles of the targeted diet.
- How do the nutrient compositions vary within and between dietary patterns?
- Which factors are most strongly associated with long-term adherence to specific dietary patterns?
- Which factors best predict continued adherence (successfully sticking with the diet) in new followers? Do these factors differ across dietary patterns?
- To examine eco-social factors that are associated with long-term (2+ years) adherence among followers of different diets. In other words, which factors seem to help individuals adhere to diets over the long term?
ADAPT is funded thanks in part to research funding from:
The Lisa Wendel Memorial Foundation