Dietary patterns, nutrition knowledge and lifestyle: associations with blood pressure in a sample of Australian adults (the Food BP study)

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This study examined the association between dietary patterns, nutrition knowledge and lifestyle with blood pressure (BP) in a sample of Australian adults. Adults with normal and high BP were included in a cross-sectional study. Dietary intake data was collected using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Nutrition knowledge and lifestyle surveys were included in the questionnaire.Dietary patterns were extracted using factor analysis followed by cluster analysis. Associations were analysed using logistic regression. Four hundred and seven participants were included. Three dietary patterns were identified: Western; Snack and alcohol; and Balanced. Participants with high BP had a higher intake of Western and a lower intake of Balanced dietary pattern. A significant and higher frequency of discretionary foods and oils consumption, as well as lower nutrition knowledge score and activity frequency, were observed in the high BP group. Regression analysis indicated that the intake of Western and Snack and alcohol dietary patterns increases the likelihood of having high BP by 2.40 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.28-4.49) and 2.76 (95% CI: 1.52-5.00), respectively, when nutrition knowledge and lifestyle were controlled for as moderator variables. The likelihood of high BP was not associated with nutrition knowledge, but increased with physical inactivity. This study indicates that poor dietary patterns and inactivity are associated with increases in the likelihood of high BP, and the association is not influenced by nutrition knowledge. These findings indicate the importance of developing public health strategies with an emphasis on improving the dietary patterns of individuals to prevent and control high BP in Australian adults.

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