British Journal of Nutrition

Nutritient Intakes: Models and Surveys

Dietary behaviours and sociocultural demographics in Northern Ireland

M. E. Barkera1*, S. I. McCleana1, K. A. Thompsona1 and N. G. Reida1

a1 Centre for Applied Health Studies, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BT52 ISA


Subjects aged 16–64 years (592; 258 men and 334 women), randomly selected from the population of Northern Ireland, kept a 7 d weighed record of all food and drink consumed. Social, personal and anthropometric data were also collected. From the weighed records food consumption was described in terms of forty-one food groups. Using principal components analysis, four distinct dietary patterns were generated which were identified as a traditional diet, a cosmopolitan diet, a convenience diet and a ‘meat and two veg’ diet. These dietary patterns were then correlated with sociocultural, lifestyle and anthropometric variables. It is clear that dietary behaviour is influenced by a number of inter-related sociocultural demographics and that identifiable population groups in Northern Ireland have different dietary behaviours.

(Received September 27 1989)

(Accepted April 11 1990)


* Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, 456 Antrim Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT15 5GB.

† Department of Health Sciences, Coventry Polytechnic, Coventry CV1 5FB.