Online Program

Comparing the utility of the theory of planned behavior between boys and girls for predicting snack food consumption: Implications for practice

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Paul Wesley Branscum, PhD, RD, Department of Health and Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Manoj Sharma, PhD, Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
The purpose of this study was to use the theory of planned behavior to explain two types of snack food consumption among boys and girls (girls n=98; boys n=69), which may have implications for future theory-based health promotion interventions. Between genders, there was a significant difference for calorie dense/nutrient poor snacks (p = .002), but no difference for fruit and vegetable snacks. Using step-wise multiple regression, attitudes, perceived behavioral control and subjective norms accounted for a large amount of the variance of intentions (girls=43.3%; boys=55.9%), however for girls, subjective norms accounted for the most variance, while for boys, attitudes accounted for the most variance. Calories from calorically dense/nutrient poor snacks and fruit and vegetable snacks were also predicted by intentions. For boys, intentions predicted 6.4% of the variance for fruit and vegetable snacks (p = .03), but was not significant for calorically dense/nutrient poor snacks, while for girls, intentions predicted 6.0% of the variance for fruit and vegetable snacks (p = .007), and 7.2% of the variance for calorically dense/nutrient poor snacks (p = .004). Results suggest that the theory of planned behavior is a useful framework for predicting snack foods among children, however there are important differences among boys and girls which should be considered in future health promotion interventions.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the application of the theory of planned behavior to predict snack food consumption among children. Identify ways of measuring snack food consumption and its antecedents in children. Explain how the theory of planned behavior can be utilized in planning health promotion programs for children Explain how the theory of planned behavior can be operationalized differently among boys and girls.

Keyword(s): Theory, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted a number of studies that operationalize behavioral theories, and predict there utility across different samples. Among my research interests has been the application of theory to obesogenic behaviors among children and adolescents.
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.