Assessing Physical Activity, Fruit, Vegetable, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Patterns of College Students in Kansas

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OBJECTIVE: To test the effectiveness of a 15-month intervention for reducing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake among college students and assess fruit and vegetable (F/V) intake and physical activity (PA) habits and their relationship to SSB intake.
DESIGN: Randomized, controlled study.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 156 college students (aged 18-24 years) from a Kansas university, mostly female (72%), white (89%), and freshmen (51%).
INTERVENTION: Two-staged intervention included participants receiving: (1) 3 weekly stage-tailored messages on healthful behaviors for 10 weeks; and (2) 3 monthly stage-tailored messages and 1 monthly e-mail encouraging a visit to the portal page, after the 3-month physical assessment.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Stages of change for PA and F/V intake, self-reported PA scores, self-reported F/V intake, and SSB intake habits.
ANALYSIS: Generalized linear mixed models and linear regression models were used to test changes and associations among outcome measures.
RESULTS: No significant decrease occurred in SSB consumption (P > .05) among intervention participants. Both control and intervention groups recorded low F/V intake and moderate PA scores.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Low F/V intake and high SSB intake evident among study participants may pose risk for unwanted weight gain and obesity-related conditions. Furthermore, college campuses can continue to support an environment conducive for being physically active, while promoting healthy eating behaviors.

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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior





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