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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111346

Predicting Physical Activity and Healthy Nutrition Behaviors Using Social Cognitive Theory: Cross-Sectional Survey among Undergraduate Students in Chongqing, China

1,2,3,†
,
1,2,3,†
,
4
,
1,5
,
1,2,3
and
1,2,3,*
1
School of Public Health and Management, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
2
Research Center for Medicine and Social Development, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
3
The Innovation Center for Social Risk Governance in Health, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
4
Department of Behavioral and Environmental Health, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39213, USA
5
School of Nursing, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 5 November 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [308 KB, uploaded 28 November 2017]

Abstract

(1) Background: Generally suggested public health measures to reduce obesity were to limit television (TV) viewing, enhance daily physical activities, enable the consumption of fruit and vegetables, and reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake. This study analyzed the extent to which selected social cognitive theory constructs can predict these behaviors among Chinese undergraduate students. (2) Methods: This cross-sectional study included 1976 undergraduate students from six universities in Chongqing, China. A self-administered five-point Likert common physical activity and nutrition behavior scale based on social cognitive theory was utilized. (3) Results: This study included 687 (34.77%) males and 1289 (65.23%) females. A total of 60.14% of the students engaged in exercise for less than 30 min per day. Approximately 16.5% of the participants spent at least 4 h watching TV and sitting in front of a computer daily. Approximately 79% of the participants consumed less than five cups of fruit and vegetables daily. Undergraduate students who had high self-efficacy scores had more leisure time physical activities. Those who have high expectation scores had considerable time watching TV and sitting in front of a computer. Undergraduate students who had high expectation and self-efficacy scores had substantially low consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Those who had high self-efficacy scores consumed considerable amounts of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, the type of university, BMI group, gender, age, lack of siblings, and grade level were associated with the aforementioned four behaviors. (4) Conclusion: Physical inactivity and unhealthy nutrition behaviors are common among undergraduate students. This study used social cognitive theory to provide several implications for limiting the TV viewing, enhancing daily physical activities, consuming fruit and vegetables, and reducing sugar-sweetened beverage intake among undergraduate students. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; nutrition behaviors; social cognitive theory; expectations; self-efficacy; self-control; undergraduates; China physical activity; nutrition behaviors; social cognitive theory; expectations; self-efficacy; self-control; undergraduates; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, X.; Pu, Y.; Sharma, M.; Rao, Y.; Cai, Y.; Zhao, Y. Predicting Physical Activity and Healthy Nutrition Behaviors Using Social Cognitive Theory: Cross-Sectional Survey among Undergraduate Students in Chongqing, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1346.

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