The Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Overweight and Obese Adolescents

Kendra Wilder, Purdue University

Abstract

Adolescents have the poorest diet quality of any age group, characterized by a low consumption of fruits and vegetables. In order to target behavior change, it is necessary to determine factors that predict fruit and vegetable consumption among adolescents. Numerous studies have assessed the relationship between self-efficacy and fruit and vegetable consumption among adolescents, but these studies have produced mixed results. Our study is unique in that it allowed participants to use technology to create a mobile food record, which is a more objective measurement of diet. In addition, we targeted prediabetic adolescents who are overweight and obese for a health coaching intervention, a method that has shown to improve self-efficacy. This pilot study analyzed baseline and longitudinal data from a behavioral intervention in adolescents who are overweight and obese, in order to determine the association between self-efficacy and fruit and vegetable consumption. Fruit and vegetable consumption was determined from analysis of pictures taken using the Technology Assisted Dietary Assessment (TADA). Self-efficacy was determined using the Diet and Exercise Behavioral Strategies Questionnaire. Statistics included Spearman correlations and a paired samples t-test. Data are reported as mean ± standard error of the mean. Participants for baseline analysis (N=30) were 63% female, 70% white and 15.4 ± 0.4 years old. BMI Z-score and waist circumference for the total population were 2.3 ± 0.1 and 107.8 ± 2.7 cm, respectively and were measured at the screening clinic visit. Fruit intake for our population did not meet the recommended 1.5 cups per day established in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. However, vegetable intake for our population did meet the recommended 2 cups per day established in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Self-efficacy towards fruit and vegetable consumption was not significantly different between boys and girls (P=0.35). Self-efficacy at baseline and six month follow up was 7.5 ± 1.3 and 6.5 ± 0.8, respectively and did not significantly change during the six month intervention (P=0.42). Fruit intake at baseline and six month follow up was 0.9 ± 0.3 and 1.4 ± 0.5, respectively and did not change during the intervention (P=0.09). Vegetable intake at baseline and six month follow up was 1.8 ± 0.3 and 1.9 ± 0.5, respectively and did not change during the six month intervention (P=0.72). Measures of obesity did not change during the six-month intervention. Our study was underpowered; therefore, we were not able to determine if there is a correlation between self-efficacy and fruit and vegetable consumption for our sample size at baseline or six-month follow-up.^

Degree

M.S.

Advisors

Nana Gletsu-Miller, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Nutrition

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