Discretionary Salt Intake and Readiness for Behavioral Change Among Women in Tehran

Ashraf Pirasteh, Hamed Pouraram, Nahid Kholdi, Mitra Abtahi


Background: Since women’s readiness for dietary behavioral change can be one of the most effective fundamental measures for reducing dietary salt intake in line with preventing chronic diseases in developing countries, the present study is aimed to determine the readiness for behavioral change in discretionary salt intake among women living in Tehran.

Methods: The present cross‑sectional study was conducted on 561 women referring to the women care units across city of Tehran. The self‑administered questionnaire included assessment of nutrition‑related knowledge on salt intake and its association with diseases, discretionary salt intake, stages of change, and self‑efficacy of women. In addition, the logistic regression test was used to determine the predictors of women’s readiness for behavioral change in discretionary salt intake.

Results: 40% women had someone in the family who had such a limitation (salt intake‑limited exposure group), while 81.6% always or often added salt to their foods. Moreover, one‑third of the participants were in the stage of pre‑contemplation and 41.2% were in the stage of preparation for reducing salt intake. Self‑efficacy and salt intake‑limited exposure were the two most important determinants of the women’s readiness for behavioral change in discretionary salt intake, respectively: (OR = 1.1 95% CI: 1.06‑‑1.14 P < 0.001; OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03‑‑2.42 P < 0.03).

Conclusions: Results of the present study showed that increased self‑efficacy is associated with higher levels of behavioral change among women. Since self‑efficacy is very important for initiating and maintaining the behavioral change, women’s empowerment for reducing salt intake necessitates putting the emphasis on increased self‑efficacy as well as community‑based nutritional interventions.

Keywords: Behavior, readiness, salt

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