Main content

Determinants of Dietary Calcium Intake in a Young Adult Population

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Buchholz, Andrea Marcinow, Michelle 2015-12-23T19:12:15Z 2015-12-23T19:12:15Z 2015-12 2015-12-09 2015-12-23
dc.description.abstract Calcium is important for the development and maintenance of healthy bones, particularly in young adulthood. Many young adults do not meet dietary recommendations for calcium. Determinants of dietary calcium intake have been examined mainly in older adults; the young adult population has not been extensively explored. Quantitative and qualitative studies were conducted in young adults (18-34 years) to address these gaps in the literature. Our quantitative study assessed young adults' dietary calcium and milk and alternatives intake and milk product health beliefs. Seventy-nine participants (~25 years; 40 M & 39 F) completed a 3-day food record and a milk product health belief questionnaire. One-third of the sample were not meeting dietary calcium recommendations, with 52% of participants below recommendations of milk and alternatives for their age group. Participants expressed uncertainty about whether organic versus traditional milk products are healthier, whether milk products are important for weight control, and concerns regarding adulteration of milk products. More females than males valued milk products’ contribution to bone health and were concerned with the humane treatment of dairy cows. Our qualitative study examined young adults' knowledge of calcium in relation to health, and suggestions to increase dietary calcium intake and ways to communicate calcium-related messaging to this population. Eight gender-specific focus groups (n=53; 3M & 5F) were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide grounded in Social Cognitive Theory. Participants perceived calcium to be important for children and older adults, but less so for their age group. The high cost of milk products, the inconvenience of purchasing milk products, and perceived negative practices of dairy farmers were barriers to increasing dietary calcium intake. Planning healthy meals and consuming calcium-rich foods habitually were recommended as strategies to increase dietary calcium intake. Participants suggested nutrition education in school curricula, and trusted advice from health professionals as means for communicating nutrition information. In conclusion, this dissertation identified that deterrents to adequate dietary calcium intake cited by participants were mainly based on negative perceptions relating to various aspects of milk products, and a lack of knowledge of the importance of dietary calcium intake for the young adults. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The Dairy Farmers of Ontario; Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Guelph en_US
dc.subject Young adults en_US
dc.subject calcium en_US
dc.subject dairy en_US
dc.subject social cognitive theory en_US
dc.subject dietary assessment en_US
dc.subject attitudes and beliefs en_US
dc.subject knowledge translation en_US
dc.title Determinants of Dietary Calcium Intake in a Young Adult Population en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Applied Nutrition en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition en_US
dc.rights.license All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated. University of Guelph en_US

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Marcinow_Michelle_201512_PhD.pdf 2.176Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback:  (email address)