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.
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