As adolescent overweight has become a widespread problem in the developed world, it is timely to understand commonalities underlying dietary practices across countries. This study examines whether consumption of fruits and vegetables and fatty foods among adolescents in different countries is related to the same individual difference and social influence factors - in particular, adolescents' self-control, diet concerns and perceptions of typical (un)healthy eating peers (prototypes). We included 511 normal weight and overweight adolescents (14-19 years) from the United States, the Netherlands and Hungary, who completed a survey during class hours. After controlling for country and demographics, an additional 8% of the variance in the consumption of fatty foods was explained by self-control, diet concerns and prototypes of unhealthy eaters. Only 3% of fruit and vegetable consumption was explained by these factors, and only the association with self-control was significant. This study demonstrates that the same individual difference and social influence factors may influence adolescents' dietary practices in different countries. In addition to highlighting country differences in dietary practices and the prevalence of overweight, exploring common factors that may shape dietary practices across countries is important for future research. These commonalities may advance conceptual understanding and inform prevention across developed countries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health