Online Program

Predictors of healthy weight and nutrition management behaviors among 18- to 24-year-old women: E-Health literacy, readability, self-health beliefs, and individual factors

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Kyung Jung Han, School of Journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Erika Johnson, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Maria Len-Rios, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Introduction: This research sought to examine the relationship between the predisposing variables (health literacy, readability, health beliefs, etc.) of weight management process and following weight management behaviors. It is based on Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model, which conceptualizes psychological determinants of behaviors that have a certain capacity to change health status.

Method: The current study conducted an online experiment study. Female participants aged from 18-to 24-year-old were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two readability conditions—6th grade and 12th grade magazine article on nutrition and healthy weight management. Participants were asked to read four magazine news articles to evaluate a “new” start-up college women’s online magazine. After reading the magazine articles, participants answered the questionnaire regarding e-health literacy, health information seeking, baseline knowledge, knowledge gain from the article, height (ft) and weight (lb) for BMI, weight control behavior, perceived health status, perceived intention to manage healthy weight, and previous experience.

Results: A total of 156 female participants were included in the final analysis. As the result of analyzing the hierarchical regression following the logic of IMB model, previous weight management experience, need for weight management, and current health status affected the actual weight management behavior.

Discussion: These results concluded that individuals’ motivation strongly predict the actual health behavior and behavioral skills are the prior factors to promote a healthy weight management. It implies that regardless of behavioral skills and pre-existing knowledge (e-health literacy), healthcare providers can help young female adults to manage their weight with effective strategies.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
List the potential antecedents of healthy weight management behaviors.

Keyword(s): Literacy, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate in Journalism and have studied communication research for last 10 years.
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.