Associations between motives for dish choice during home-meal preparation and diet quality in French adults: findings from the NutriNet-Santé study.

Br J Nutr. 2017 117(6):851-861

Ducrot P, Méjean C, Fassier P, Allès B, Hercberg S, Péneau S.

A number of motives such as constraints or pleasure have been suggested to influence dish choices during home-meal preparation. However, no study has evaluated how the importance conferred to these motives potentially influence diet quality.
 
The present study aims at investigating the difference in diet quality according to the importance attached by individuals to various dish choice motives. The importance of twenty-seven criteria related to dish choices on weekdays was evaluated among 48 010 French adults from the NutriNet-Santé study. ANCOVA and logistic regression models, adjusted for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, were used to evaluate the association between the importance attached to dish choice motives (yes v. no) and energy and food group intakes, as well as adherence to French nutritional guidelines (modified Programme National Nutrition Santé-Guideline Score (mPNNS-GS)).
 
A higher adherence to nutritional guidelines was observed in individuals attaching importance to a healthy diet (mPNNS-GS score 7·87 (sd 0·09) v. 7·39 (sd 0·09)) and specific diets (mPNNS-GS score 7·73 (sd 0·09) v. 7·53 (sd 0·09)), compared with those who attached little/no importance (all P<0·0001). These individuals also exhibited higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, but a lower consumption of meat, milk and cheese, sugary products and convenience foods compared with their respective counterparts (all P<0·0001). For other motives, that is, constraints, pleasure and organisation, only small differences were observed. The main difference in diet quality was related to the importance placed on a healthy diet.
 
Although a causal link should be demonstrated, our findings suggested that strategies aiming at enabling people to take into account diet quality during home-meal preparation might be effective levers to promote healthy eating.