Online Program

Men's motivation for eating and physical activity: Implications for men's health education

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Julie Gast, PhD, MCHES, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Hala Madanat, PhD, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Jason Leiker, PhD, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Amy Nielson, MS, National Children's Study, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Motivation for eating and motivation for physical activity are important lifestyle factors. Past research has found that women who are intuitive eaters have lower BMIs and better health profiles compared to non-intuitive eaters. This research sought to determine the relationship between BMI, age, and race/ethnicity and intuitive eating status using the Intuitive Eating Scale (IES) with a sample of 181 college men. In addition, this research sought to determine if there was a relationship between exercise behavior and intuitive eating status. Specifically, Self-Determination Theory was used as a theoretical framework to examine this relationship. The Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ) was used to measure the degree of internal motivation to exercise. Linear regression analyses were performed controlling for demographic variables to understand the impact of intuitive eating on BMI and BREQ subscale scores. We found that BMI decreased by .098 for every unit increase in total IES score (p<.001) indicating that being an intuitive eater decreased BMI. While controlling for demographic variables, we found that IES scores were inversely related to external motivation for activity indicating that intuitive eaters were more internally motivated to exercise. This model holds promise for the communicating with men about health in that this and previous research has found that men hold anti-dieting attitudes yet obesity rates are higher in men than women. Intuitive eating may work well with men since it is an anti-dieting model, yet is effective in increasing motivation for activity while associated with lower BMI scores.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the association between eating style, motivation for physical activity and Body mass index in men

Keyword(s): Health Behavior, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead researcher on the study and have published several peer reviewed papers in the area of men's health.
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.