Changes in Obesity-related Food Behavior: A Nutrition Education Intervention to Change Attitudes and Other Factors Associated with Food-related Intentions in Adolescents: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior



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This research examines the effect of a nutrition education intervention to change attitudes and other factors associated with eating breakfast and consuming low-fat dairy and whole-grains. Adolescents (n = 106) 11 to 15 years old were recruited from afterschool programs in Los Angeles County, California. Participants in the treatment group (n = 57) met once weekly for 60 minutes during seven weeks. The curriculum focused on changing attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control toward eating breakfast along with including low-fat dairy and whole grains. The first three lessons focused on basic nutrition concepts. The later lessons focused on identifying barriers and overcoming barriers, goal-setting, and identifying methods to stay motivated. Questionnaires were administered at baseline and post-intervention. Data were analyzed using SAS statistical analysis program (v. 9.2). Eighty-eight percent of participants were Hispanic, 55% were girls, and mean age was 12 years. One-hundred six adolescents completed the questionnaire at baseline and 75 completed it at post-intervention. Cronbach alpha statistic for subjective norms and attitudes toward eating breakfast, consuming low-fat dairy and whole-grains were 0.67 and higher for each dependant variable. Intention was significantly predicted by attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; however, as these models do not differentiate change, additional models were run with interactions between group (treatment versus control) and the change variables. Significant changes in perceived behavioral control were observed among participants in the treatment group regarding drinking skim milk, 1% milk, and 2% milk respectively (p < .05; p < .001; p < .001) and attitude (p < .05). No change was observed in breakfast eating or consumption of wholegrains