Better Diet, Exercise Can Lead to Behavioral Improvements

Feasible opportunities for healthy diet and activity linked to intentions, behaviors, and BMI.
Feasible opportunities for healthy diet and activity linked to intentions, behaviors, and BMI.

HealthDay News — Practical opportunities for healthy diet and activity are associated with intentions, achieved behaviors, and body mass index (BMI), according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Robert L. Ferrer, MD, MPH, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and colleagues examined how practical opportunities for diet and physical activity influence behavioral intentions and achieved behaviors in a study involving 746 adults who visited eight large primary care practices. Achieved diet, physical activity, and BMI were modeled as a function of opportunities (resources or conversion factors influencing resource use), behavioral intentions, and demographic covariates.

 

The researchers found that resources (P < 0.001) and conversion factors (P = 0.005) predicted behavioral intentions for activity in path models. Diet intentions were predicted by conversion factors (P < 0.001), but not resources. Positive correlations were seen for both activity resources (P = 0.01) and conversion factors (P < 0.001) with weekly activity minutes. Positive associations were seen for diet conversion factors (P < 0.001), but not diet resources (P = 0.08), with diet quality. Patterns were similar for BMI. There was evidence of socioeconomic gradients in resources and conversion factors.

"Assessing opportunities as part of health behavior management could lead to more effective, efficient, and compassionate interventions," the authors write.

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