Modeling obesity-related behaviors in Indian children using social cognitive theory

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Dr. Manoj Sharma

Professor Health Promotion & Education
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
+1 (513) 556-3878

This study examined the extent to which selected social cognitive theory constructs can predict four obesity prevention behaviors among preadolescents in India: daily physical activity, limiting television viewing, replacing sweetened beverage consumption with water, and increasing fruit and vegetable intake. A 55 item valid and reliable scale was administered to 324 fifth graders in India. The significant predictor of physical activity was number of times taught at school (p < 0.008). None of the social cognitive theory variables were found to be significant predictors for numbers of hours of watching TV or drinking water instead of sweetened beverages. In the case of fruit and vegetable consumption, the significant predictor was self-efficacy to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables (p<0.0001). The study discusses ways social cognitive theory can be bolstered to influence adolescent obesity behaviors in India. The study has been published in International Quarterly of Community Health Education.

Project commenced on May 1, 2007

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