The Untitled Nutrition Education
Behavior Change Strategy intends to increase students’ nutrition through six
concepts including personalization of food records, goal-setting,
self-management, and self-evaluation. Six schools were randomly assigned to one
of three conditions – a behavior change treatment, a treatment combining
behavior change plus a traditional knowledge-focused approach, and a
no-treatment control group. Both treatment groups gained knowledge. An
evaluation of the program showed significant impacts on 8 of 14 nutrients for
one or both treatment groups, compared with the control group; but they were not
significant. Also, there were no significant impacts on nutrition attitudes.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population: High
The nutrition education behavior
change strategy consists of six concepts that aim to make nutrition a normal
part of students’ lives. The first step, personalization, involves the students
keeping three-day food records and tracking nutrient intake. During step two,
goal setting, the students set a goal for nutrient improvement. Self
management, step three, allows the students to identify the nutrition goals of
greatest benefit to them. Self-implementation occurs when the students
implement their selected goals for a weekend. During self-evaluation, the
students evaluate their successes and failures during the self-implementation
process and revise their plans. Implementation then continues for three days
with the same or revised solutions. Feedback is given to the students with a
focus on relapse situations. Afterward, another series of self-implementation
and evaluation on successes and failures, along with revisions to strategies
occur. Finally, there is an effort to make the implementation a natural part of
the students’ life.
EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
A., & Skinner, J. D. (1988). Can goal setting as a component of nutrition
education effect behavior change among adolescents. Society for Nutrition
Education, 20(6), 327-335.
Population: 159 ninth and tenth grade students from
12 classes in 6 schools in the Knoxville, Tennessee area participated in the
study. The schools in the study were classified as rural, low/middle income and
urban/suburban, middle/upper income. Students’ ages ranged from 14 to 16 years.
Approach: Schools were randomly assigned to one of
three groups. The behavior change group received the nutrition education
behavior change. The behavior change plus group received the nutrition education
behavior change strategy along with a nutrition information component that is
normally taught in the classroom. Finally, a control group received no
Students were assessed on nutrient intake, nutrition attitudes, and nutrition
knowledge. Students rated the nutrition education activities related to any
behavior changes they made.
Results: There were no significant differences
between the behavior change and behavior change plus groups. There were no
significant impacts on attitude. There were no significant increases in the
behavior change and behavior change plus groups from pre- to post-test.
Non-experimental analyses indicate that student goal-setting predicted behavior
change. The analysis is undermined by high levels of attrition in the control
Students reported keeping food records, using a computer to evaluate nutrient
intake, implementing solutions, and follow-up classes as the most helpful
elements of the program.
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
White, A. A., & Skinner, J. D. (1988). Can goal setting as a component of
nutrition education effect behavior change among adolescents. Society for
Nutrition Education, 20(6), 327-335.
Adolescence (12-17), School-based, Adolescents (12-17), Youth (16+), High
information last updated on 4/1/09.