Beliefs Perceptions and Knowledge Regarding the Benefits of Nut Intake

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Hilary London (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Roman Pawlak

Abstract: The objective of this study was to assess knowledge regarding the health effects and nutrient content of nuts and perceptions regarding benefits and barriers of nut intake among individuals over the age of 40 years. One hundred cross-sectional surveys were gathered from two sites in Greenville NC. Eighty-five of the surveys collected met the inclusion criteria Caucasian or African American ethnicity and above 40 years of age. The mean age of the participants was 63 and 77.6% were Caucasian while the other 22.4% were African American.  About one-third of the participants were previously diagnosed with diabetes. Also two-thirds of participants were previously diagnosed with some type of cardiovascular disease (CVD): heart disease (61.4%) heart attack (56.4%) angina (51.8%) and stroke (50.0%). Approximately 40% of individuals were not aware that nuts could help lower the risk for heart attacks or diabetes. Only about one-eighth of the participants were aware of the predominant fat found in nuts. Approximately 27% strongly agreed or agreed that their doctors had advised them to eat nuts most days of the week. However 63% strongly agreed or agreed that they would consume nuts most days of the week if their doctor made these recommendations. Beliefs and perceptions were inadequate and knowledge levels were low. This indicates that current scientific evidence is not being conveyed to individuals with or at risk of CVD and/or diabetes. Education regarding health benefits of nuts provided by doctors and other healthcare professionals could help reduce CVD and/or diabetes incidences and mortalities. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Nutrition, Behavioral sciences, beliefs, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Knowledge, nuts, Perceptions
Nuts--Therapeutic use
Diet therapy
Heart--Diseases--Diet therapy
Heart--Diseases--Nutritional aspects
Diabetes--Diet therapy
Diabetes--Nutritional aspects

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