Research Article| Volume 51, ISSUE 2, P173-181, February 2019

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The Role of Self-Identity in Predicting College Students’ Intention to Consume Fruits and Vegetables

  • Seung Eun Jung
    Address for correspondence: Seung Eun Jung, PhD, RD, Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, University of Alabama, 504 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
    Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
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  • Crystal Bice
    University of Alabama/Pickens County Health Care Teaching County Partnership, Institute for Rural Health Research/College of Community Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
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Published:September 18, 2018DOI:



      To identify factors influencing intention to consume fruits and vegetables (F&V) among college students by applying the Theory of Planned Behavior with the inclusion of self-identity and past behavior.


      Cross-sectional study conducted in 2017.


      Undergraduate classes at the University of Alabama.


      A total of 343 undergraduate students, mean age 20.3 years, participated in the study.

      Main Outcome Measure(s)

      Participants completed validated instruments measuring Theory of Planned Behavior variables, past behavior, and self-identity.


      Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. Overall chi-square goodness of fit, comparative fit index, root mean square error of approximation, and Tucker-Lewis Index were used to assess model fit.


      Model fit indices showed that the hypothesized structural equation modeling model provided a good fit to the data (χ2 = 306.35; degrees of freedom = 104, root mean square error of approximation = 0.08; comparative fit index =0.95; Tucker-Lewis Index = 0.94). Self-identity was the most significant predictor of intention to consume fruits and vegetables, followed by attitude, past behavior, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm among college students.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Nutrition education advocating the role of increased F&V consumption in positive self-identity, such as handouts incorporating images relatable to college students, may increase college students’ intention to consume F&V.

      Key Words

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