Stage-based Healthy Lifestyles Program for Non-college Young Adults

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test the feasibility of implementing a healthy lifestyles intervention to maintain or achieve healthy weight for low-income young adults in vocational education. Design/methodology/approach Non-randomized, quasi-experimental feasibility test of a ten-week intervention with follow-up assessment designed using PRECEDE-PROCEED. A convenience sample included low-income young adults (n =165), 18-24 years recruited from two vocational training facilities. The intervention had weekly: online educational modules, targeting the non-dieting approach through healthful eating, and physical activity; and messages to promote fruit and vegetable intake, increased physical activity and stress management. Anthropometrics were measured, and an online survey on physical activity and eating behavior (e.g. self-regulation, self-instruction, emotional eating) was administered at baseline, post-, and follow-up. Findings At baseline, males were overweight and females were obese based on average BMI; no significant change in BMI, food intake, physical activity, or stress management were noted following the intervention. Eating behavior changed in treatment vs control group; food self-regulation was higher (p =0.025) for high use treatment group compared to the control group. Practical implications Lifestyle interventions are critical for low-income young adults who are overweight or obese by 18-24 years of age. Young adults who engage in such interventions can make food behavior changes that can have a mediating effect on healthy weight management. Models like PRECEDE-PROCEED are vital to success when working toward sustainable programs within communities. Originality/value Few healthy lifestyle programs have been reported for low-income, non-college young adults, specifically with a largely male population, and none with PRECEDE-PROCEED.

Publication Title

Health Education





First Page


Last Page


DOI of Published Version