214043 Using Theory of Planned Behavior to predict snack food consumption among upper elementary school children

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

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
Childhood obesity has many reported causal factors including inadequate physical activity and unbalanced eating patterns. One such eating pattern that has increased among children is the 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. Many schools across the nation have even taken steps to limit the sales of these foods in vending machines, as ala carte selections in cafeterias, and school stores by targeting them in School Wellness Policies. Interventions directed toward the prevention and management of childhood obesity need to better utilize behavioral theories, because they help discern measurable program outcomes, specify methods for behavior change, enhance communication between professionals, and improve future replication. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been noted as a prominent theory for explaining health behavior change. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of children's snack food consumption, using direct measures of the constructs of the TPB. A valid and reliable instrument was developed and administered to 200 children. Confirmatory factor analysis was used for construct validation. Structural equation modeling using subscale scores for behavioral intentions, attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control was used for modeling the predictors of snack food consumption. Model fit was estimated using root mean squared error of approximation (RMSEA), comparative fit index (CFI), and chi-square test. Results from this study will help shape future health promoting interventions.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

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

Keywords: Theory, Nutrition

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.