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Int Q Community Health Educ. 2011-2012;32(1):41-55. doi: 10.2190/IQ.32.1.e.

Using the theory of planned behavior to predict two types of snack food consumption among Midwestern upper elementary children: implications for practice.

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  • 1The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.


This study examined the extent to which constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) can predict the consumption of two types of snack foods among elementary school children. A 15-item instrument tested for validity and reliability measuring TPB constructs was developed and administered to 167 children. Snack foods were evaluated using a modified 24-hour recall method. On average, children consumed 302 calories from snack foods per day. Stepwise multiple regression found that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control accounted for 44.7% of the variance for intentions. Concurrently, intentions accounted for 11.3% of the variance for calorically-dense snack food consumption and 8.9% of the variance for fruit and vegetable snack consumption. Results suggest that the theory of planned behavior is an efficacious theory for these two behaviors. Future interventions should consider using this theoretical framework and aim to enhance children's attitudes, perceived control, and subjective norms towards snack food consumption.

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