Online Program

Using health-belief model to predict childhood obesity prevention behaviors among elementary school age children in India

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nataraja Sarma Vaitinadin, MBBS, MPH, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Brittany Rosen, School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Jun Ying, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Bradley Wilson, PhD, MBA, School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Manoj Sharma, MBBS, MCHES, Ph.D., School of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS

There is a paucity of studies predicting childhood obesity prevention behaviors involving the following three factors 1) elementary school age children, 2) health behavior theories especially the Health-Belief model, and 3) developing countries like India. The current study addresses all these concerns and aims to contribute to the corpus of evidence-based data that could be used to formulate prevention strategies. The four behaviors studied were: 60 minutes physical activity, less than two hours of television or screen time, drinking water instead of sweetened beverages, and eating five or more cups of fruits and vegetables.


A cross-sectional design was used. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained before commencement. Upper elementary school age children in the Chennai city region of southern India (n=750) participated in the study. The survey instrument was a 47 item scale, validated by a panel of six experts and included the six constructs of health belief model and four behaviors. Reliability analysis was done using Cronbach’s alpha. The instrument was administered on a chosen day and collected with children completing the questionnaire independently and voluntarily. The data was analyzed using SPSS with AMOS. Frequency distributions, stepwise logistic regression, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) were done.


Regression analyses and SEM yielded significant predictors for the current study. Complete results are pending.


The health-belief model is a robust model for predicting childhood obesity prevention behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Formulate a health-belief model hypothesis that can be tested through survey research. Articulate the procedure for designing a valid instrument based on the health-belief model. Demonstrate the statistical steps needed to analyze survey data. Develop valid interventions based on the health-belief model.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The primary author of the study was trained as a physician in India and is currently completing a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Cincinnati. He was primarily responsible for designing, and conducting the study, besides also for analyzing the data, all under the supervision of the faculty listed thereof. He has also conducted and published peer reviewed research. This proposal was awarded a faculty mentoring prize by the university.
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.