Identify weight-related beliefs of college students and test the predictive power of the Health Belief Model for body mass index (BMI).
Cross-sectional online survey with beliefs measured on 5-point scales.
University in North Carolina.
Undergraduates (n = 516; 91.9%), females (n = 399; 71.3%), white non-Hispanic students (n = 507; 86.2%), and 20.3% of overweight or obese status.
Perceived severity, susceptibility, barriers, benefits, and internal and external cues to action.
One-way ANOVA and regression. Significance was P < .05.
Strongest beliefs concerned benefits of healthy eating and physical activity (mean, 4.1 ± 0.7); weakest beliefs concerned barriers to adopting such behaviors (mean, 2.6 ± 0.9). The regression model was statistically significant (P < .001) and explained 17% of variance in BMI (multivariate coefficient = 0.177). Perceived severity, susceptibility, external cues, barriers, and benefits predicted BMI.
Conclusions and Implications
Several beliefs were identified that could serve as the basis for weight-related interventions addressing specific concerns, needs, and goals of college students.
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Published online: October 30, 2017
Accepted: September 18, 2017
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: The authors have not stated any conflicts of interest.
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