Ready for a healthy change? Exploring food-related attitudes, self-determined motivation and behaviour among students attending vocational school

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Research aims
Socio-economic inequality in health tends to be transferred into adulthood, and health disparities based on education level increase with age. Promoting healthy eating at vocational college is therefore a priority and a challenge for policy makers. Using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change the purpose of this study was to study the food-related attitudes, motivation and behaviour of technical college students at different stages of preparedness for a “healthy change” to suggest how healthy eating could be encouraged.

An exploratory, sequential mixed methods design was applied, in which the results of focus group studies were used to feed into the design of a survey study and results of both studies subsequently integrated. First, students (n=36) participated in six focus groups. Participants discussed barriers and facilitators for healthy eating and for their general motivation for a ‘healthy change’. For the second part, students (n=1095) participated in an online survey measuring attitudes, motivation, social norms and behaviour related to healthy eating. The stages of change model was used to organize results. Correlation and regression analysis were employed to identify predictors of healthy eating.

Main results and implications
Around 25% of students of both gender self-reported to be in the contemplation stage, i.e., they do not eat healthily at the moment but plan to do so in the near future. Stage of change is related to most indicators used, and results suggest that particularly attitudes and self-determined motivation is important for promoting a healthy change amongst contemplating technical college students.
Udgivelsesår18 okt. 2019
StatusUdgivet - 18 okt. 2019
BegivenhedCook and Health Conference - The Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics, Lisbon, Portugal
Varighed: 17 okt. 201918 okt. 2019
Konferencens nummer: 3


KonferenceCook and Health Conference
LokationThe Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics

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