194136 Predictors of snack food consumption among children using social cognitive theory: Implications for health promoting interventions

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paul Wesley Branscum, MS, RD, LD , Health Promotion and Education, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Manoj Sharma, PhD , Health Promotion & Education Program, University of Cincinnati & Walden University, Cincinnati, OH
Many factors, such as the environment and personal behaviors, have reportedly been associated with the etiology of childhood overweight, and one dietary pattern that has gained attention is the increased consumption of energy-dense and large portioned snack foods or foods eaten outside of meals. It is estimated that youth consume one-fourth to one-third of their daily caloric intake from snack foods. Recent data indicate that more children are currently skipping breakfast, and apparently are compensating by eating more snack foods. Of concern, snack foods tend to be higher in fat and energy density, and frequent snacking has been associated with higher daily intakes of fat, refined sugar and calories. The purpose of this study is to identify predictors of children's snack food consumption, using constructs of social cognitive theory (SCT). A valid and reliable instrument was developed and administered to 200 children. Snack food consumption was evaluated using a validated and reliable method employing 24-hour food recalls with assisted food journals. Stepwise multiple regression modeling using subscale scores for behavioral capabilities, outcome expectations and expectancies, self-efficacy, self-control and environment was used for modeling the predictors of snack food consumption. SCT has been noted as a promising theoretical basis for health promoting interventions among children, and results from this study may help shape future health promoting interventions. Recommendations for improving future interventions will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the application of social cognitive theory to predict snack food consumption among children. 2. Identify ways of measuring snack food consumption and its antecedents in children. 3. Explain implications for improving interventions that address childhood overweight and obesity.

Keywords: Children's Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student in the Health Promotion and Education program at the University of Cincinnati, and I am also a registered dietitian.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.