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Open AccessArticle

Explaining Vegetable Consumption among Young Adults: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Department of Food Science, University of Parma, via Kennedy 6, 43125 Parma, Italy
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Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7633-7650; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095357
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 28 August 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition: A Social Psychological Perspective)
Although fruit and vegetable consumption is highly recommended for a healthy and balanced daily diet, several European countries do not meet these recommendations. In Italy, only 45% of young people are consuming at least one portion of vegetables per day. Therefore, this paper aims to understand the main determinants of vegetables consumption among young adults to suggest possible intervention strategies. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a samples of Italian students (n = 751), using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as a conceptual framework. A structural equation model (SEM) was developed to test the TPB predictors for vegetable consumption, and the role of background factors (socio-demographic and personal characteristics) in improving the TPB model’s explaining power. Overall, 81% and 68%, respectively, of intentions and behaviour variance is explained by the TPB model. Socio-demographic and personal characteristics were found to influence intentions and behaviour indirectly by their effects on the theory’s more proximal determinants. Interventions should be targeted to improve perceived behavioural control (PBC), attitudes and subjective norms that significantly affect intentions. Tailored interventions for male students, enrolled in courses other than food science, and doing less physical activity may have a larger effect on behavioural change. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetables consumption; theory of planned behaviour (TPB); structural equation model (SEM); intention; background factors vegetables consumption; theory of planned behaviour (TPB); structural equation model (SEM); intention; background factors
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Menozzi, D.; Sogari, G.; Mora, C. Explaining Vegetable Consumption among Young Adults: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Nutrients 2015, 7, 7633-7650.

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