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Prev Med. 2008 Oct;47(4):369-77. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.06.013. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

Motivation, self-efficacy, physical activity and nutrition in college students: randomized controlled trial of an internet-based education program.

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  • 1Northeastern University, Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology, 203 Lake Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5000, USA.


OBJECTIVE: (MSB-N) is an internet-based nutrition and physical activity education program for college students.


Students from six universities (N=476) in the U.S. were randomly assigned in the fall of 2005 to one of three groups: MSB-N (Experimental I), MSB-N plus Booster (Experimental II), or an attention placebo control group.


Experimental I and II group participants increased their fruit and vegetable intake by .33 and .24 servings, respectively, relative to the control group at post-test. Both experimental groups improved their motivation to change eating behaviors (p<.05) and were also more likely to increase their social support and self-efficacy for dietary change (p's<.05). Experimental groups also improved their attitude toward exercise (p<.05), but no behavioral changes in physical activity were noted.

CONCLUSION: is an effective internet-based program that may have wide applicability on college campuses for nutrition education and promoting change in health behaviors.

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