Food habits of young and middle-aged women living outside the capital cities of Australia

Annette Dobson, Gita Mishra, Wendy Brown*, Rhonda Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Young (18-22 years) and middle-aged (45-49 years) women living in urban and rural areas of New South Wales completed a brief food frequency questionnaire as part of a wider health survey. Urban women in both age groups consumed meat less frequently than women in rural areas, and women in the less populated rural areas were more likely to eat green and yellow vegetables and least likely to eat dried beans. There were few other geographic differences in food habits. Middle-aged women consumed reduced-fat milk, fruit, vegetables, fish, biscuits and cakes significantly more frequently, and rice, pasta, full-cream milk, fried food and take-away food less frequently than younger women. Smokers in both age groups consumed fresh fruit, vegetables and breakfast cereals significantly less frequently than non-smokers, and women with low levels of habitual physical activity consumed fresh fruit and cereals less frequently than more active women. The findings suggest that strategies aimed at changing eating behaviours should be age-group-specific and targeted specifically to smokers and less active women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-715
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


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