Knowledge, Attitudes, Self-Efficacy, and Healthy Eating Behavior Among Children: Results From the Building Healthy Communities Trial.

Authors:
Noel L Kulik
Noel L Kulik
College of Education
United States
Erin E Centeio
Erin E Centeio
Wayne State University
United States
Alex C Garn
Alex C Garn
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge | United States
Dr. Jeffrey J Martin, PhD
Dr. Jeffrey J Martin, PhD
Wayne State University
Professor
Detroit, MI | United States
Bo Shen
Bo Shen
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
United States
Cheryl L Somers
Cheryl L Somers
1Wayne State University

Health Educ Behav 2019 Feb 21:1090198119826298. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

1 Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Background/aim: Increased knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about a topic and behavioral capability and self-efficacy for healthy eating are often a precursor to behavior change. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of the multicomponent school-based program on children's healthy eating knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy for healthy eating, and on their eating habits over time.

Method: Quasi-experimental (4 treatment, 2 comparison) in a metropolitan area using a pretest-posttest method. Participants were 628 fifth-grade youth (377 treatment, 251 comparison) with a mean age of 9.9 years. The Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program is an 8-month school-wide healthy school transformation program and includes six main components. Outcome measures include children's healthy eating knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, and behavior. Missing data were imputed, confirmatory factor analysis tested scale factor structure, and path analysis determined a parsimonious path explaining behavior change.

Results: The Student Attitudes and Self-Efficacy (SASE) scale had good measurement model fit. BHC group's healthy eating knowledge and behaviors increased significantly, while SASE remained moderate. For both groups, the students' knowledge and SASE significantly predicted their healthy eating behaviors; however, the intervention group accounted for a greater amount of variance (35% vs. 26%).

Discussion: The BHC program was effective in improving healthy eating knowledge and behavior among youth, and the relationship between variables did not vary by group. Healthy eating knowledge is a significant predictor of both future knowledge and behavior.

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February 2019
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