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Explaining the effects of a 1-year intervention promoting a low fat diet in adolescent girls : a mediation analysis

Haerens, Leen, Cerin, Ester, Deforche, Benedicte, Maes, Lea and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilsa 2007, Explaining the effects of a 1-year intervention promoting a low fat diet in adolescent girls : a mediation analysis, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 4, no. 55, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-4-55.

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Title Explaining the effects of a 1-year intervention promoting a low fat diet in adolescent girls : a mediation analysis
Author(s) Haerens, Leen
Cerin, Ester
Deforche, Benedicte
Maes, Lea
De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilsa
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 4
Issue number 55
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1479-5868
Summary Background : Although it is important to investigate how interventions work, no formal mediation analyses have been conducted to explain behavioral outcomes in school-based fat intake interventions in adolescents. The aim of the present study was to examine mediation effects of changes in psychosocial determinants of dietary fat intake (attitude, social support, self-efficacy, perceived benefits and barriers) on changes in fat intake in adolescent girls.

Methods : Data from a 1-year prospective intervention study were used. A random sample of 804 adolescent girls was included in the study. Girls in the intervention group (n = 415) were exposed to a multi-component school-based intervention program, combining environmental changes with a computer tailored fat intake intervention and parental support. Fat intake and psychosocial determinants of fat intake were measured with validated self-administered questionnaires. To assess mediating effects, a product-of-coefficient test, appropriate for cluster randomized controlled trials, was used.

Results : None of the examined psychosocial factors showed a reliable mediating effect on changes in fat intake. The single-mediator model revealed a statistically significant suppression effect of perceived barriers on changes in fat intake (p = 0.011). In the multiple-mediator model, this effect was no longer significant, which was most likely due to changes in perceived barriers being moderately related to changes in self-efficacy (-0.30) and attitude (-0.25). The overall mediated-suppressed effect of the examined psychosocial factors was virtually zero (total mediated effect = 0.001; SE = 7.22; p = 0.992).

Conclusion : Given the lack of intervention effects on attitudes, social support, self-efficacy and perceived benefits and barriers, it is suggested that future interventions should focus on the identification of effective strategies for changing these theoretical mediators in the desired direction. Alternatively, it could be argued that these constructs need not be targeted in interventions aimed at adolescents, as they may not be responsible for the intervention effects on fat intake. To draw any conclusions regarding mediators of fat-intake change in adolescent' girls and regarding optimal future intervention strategies, more systematic research on the mediating properties of psychosocial variables is needed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1479-5868-4-55
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, BioMed Central
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055861

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.