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Open AccessArticle

Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling of Students’ Dietary Intentions/Behaviors, BMI, and the Healthfulness of Convenience Stores

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Department of Public Health Food Studies and Nutrition, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
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Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
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Health and Nutritional Sciences Department, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
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Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
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Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Hospitality Management, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
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Department of Nutrition Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
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Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
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Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Department of Molecular, Cellular & Biomedical Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
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Division of Animal & Nutritional Sciences, School of Agriculture, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
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Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Tuskegee University, AL 36088, USA
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Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
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School of Food and Agriculture, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5735, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111569
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Behaviours during Young Adulthood)
Background: When dietary behaviors are habitual, intentions are low, and environmental cues, such as the consumer food environment, might guide behavior. How might intentions to eat healthily and ultimately actual dietary behaviors, be influenced by the consumer food environment (including the availability and affordability of healthy foods) in convenience stores? This study will determine pathways between the healthfulness of convenience stores and college students’ dietary intentions/behaviors, and body mass index (BMI). Methods: Through multilevel structural equation modeling, a comparison was made of students’ healthful meal intentions (HMI); intake (fruits/vegetables, %kcal/fat, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and whole-grains); and measured BMI; as well as the healthfulness of convenience stores (fruits/vegetables availability/quality, healthy food availability/affordability). Data was collected on 1401 students and 41 convenience stores across 13 US college campuses. Results: Controlling for gender, HMI was negatively associated with SSBs (β = −0.859) and %kcal/fat (β = −1.057) and positively with whole-grains (β = 0.186) and fruits/vegetables intake (β = 0.267); %Kcal/fat was positively (β = 0.098) and fruits/vegetables intake (β = −0.055) negatively associated with BMI. Campus level, fruits/vegetables availability were positively associated to HMI (β = 0.214, β = 0.129) and directly/negatively to BMI (β = −2.657, β = −1.124). Conclusions: HMI modifies dietary behaviors, with energy from fat and fruit/vegetable intake the most predictive of weight. Availability of fruit/vegetables in convenience stores make it easier for young adults to eat well. View Full-Text
Keywords: young adults; consumer nutrition food environment; weight; fruit/vegetable intake; college environment; percentage k-calories from fat young adults; consumer nutrition food environment; weight; fruit/vegetable intake; college environment; percentage k-calories from fat
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Horacek, T.; Dede Yildirim, E.; Kattelmann, K.; Byrd-Bredbenner, C.; Brown, O.; Colby, S.; Greene, G.; Hoerr, S.; Kidd, T.; Koenings, M.; Morrell, J.; Olfert, M.D.; Phillips, B.; Shelnutt, K.; White, A. Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling of Students’ Dietary Intentions/Behaviors, BMI, and the Healthfulness of Convenience Stores. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1569.

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