Stage of Change (SOC)-based interventions have been effective for behavior change but few have been developed to assess sustainable eating behavior. No algorithm assessing motivational readiness to make environmentally-conscious protein choices has been previously developed.
To develop a SOC algorithm for environmentally-conscious protein (ECP) choices.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Development was initiated using a cross-sectional survey of participants (n = 400) enrolled in introductory classes. Participants ranged from 18-24 years old and received extra credit for completion. The ECP SOC algorithm was recoded for this study categorizing participants as pre- or post-action.
ECP groups were compared using chi-square and t-tests for animal protein (AP) consumption, attitude toward food and long-term health impact (LTH), green eating SOC (GE), attitude toward plant-based foods (PBF), and attitude toward the impact of meat on the environment (MOE).
Participants were predominantly white (83%), female (80%) and averaged 19 ± 1.2 years. Most participants (70%) were in pre-action stages for ECP. Fifty-seven percent in pre-action consumed AP 4-6 days a week vs 41% of those in post-action (P < .001). Those in pre-action were less likely to always choose foods for LTH (22%) vs post-action (51%) (P < .001). Eighty-eight percent in pre-action for GE were also pre-action for ECP, while 47% of post-action for GE were post-action for ECP (P < .001). Fifty-one percent in pre-action believed in eating mostly PBF to sustain health vs 79% in post-action (P < .001). Lastly, post-action were more likely to contemplate the impact of MOE every time they ate meat (26%) vs pre-action (10%) (P < 0.001).
The ECP SOC algorithm successfully distinguished pre- and post-action stages by behavior and attitudes. The consistency of these results with previous research provides support for the continued development of the ECP SOC algorithm. Future research is needed to validate this algorithm and to determine if it can be used for interventions to facilitate behavior change.
Appendix. Supplementary data
© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.