Riverina Men's study: a preliminary exploration of the diet, alcohol use and physical activity behaviours and attitudes of rural men in two Australian New South Wales electorates

Gabrielle O'Kane, Pippa Craig, Deborah Black, David Sutherland

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Abstract

Objective: To determine the reported eating, drinking and exercise behaviours of rural men and relationships between reported behaviours and attitudes to health and body image, age and occupation. Method: A written postal survey was used to collect demographic data, eating behaviours using the Food Habit Score, alcohol use, physical activity behaviours using an adaptation of the Pilot Study of the Fitness of Australians and attitudes to health and body image. Subjects and Setting: The survey was sent to 2 000 randomly selected men in two Riverina federal electorates in June 2004, with 529 returns (27% response).Main outcome measures: 'Food Habit Scores 'Regularity of physical activity'Frequency and amount of alcohol'Degree of agreement with statements about attitudes to health and body image. Statistical analyses: Descriptive statistics using frequencies and cross tabulations were performed with further univariate analyses conducted at a level of significance of 5%. Results: Approximately one third of the men achieved a poor Food Habit Score ('10 out of 20).Age was not significantly associated with diet quality, but those in higher skill occupations had a better diet compared to those in less skilled occupations (P<0.01). Eighty seven percent of the respondents drank alcohol and of those, nearly half consumed only one or two alcoholic drinks at each session. Nearly a quarter of the men reported that they had more than four drinks on each drinking occasion. Almost half the men did no 'vigorous' exercise, but 42% did heavy labouring/gardening at least three times a week. The men with poor dietary habits were more likely to agree with less desirable attitudes to health, such as needing a health scare before changing lifestyle behaviours (P<0.001). The low response rate (27%) limits the ability to generalise these results to the whole male population in the Farrer and Riverina federal electorates. Conclusion: This study describes the eat
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRural and Remote Health
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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