The Effect of Computerized Feedback on College Students’ Dietary Self-efficacy, Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors

By Gloria McNamara.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 25, 2014 $US5.00

This study examined the effectiveness of computerized feedback on dietary cognitions and behaviors of 33 community college students (N = 33). Questionnaires that measure nutrition knowledge, self-efficacy, and dietary beliefs, as well as food consumption surveys, were administered to students pre- and post-intervention. On three occasions, every student utilized the Food Processor computer software as an intervention to input their personal menu from the previous 24-hour period, and every student received a computer-generated nutritional analysis of that menu. Personal beliefs regarding outcome expectations and self-efficacy are known to motivate one to set goals and initiate behavior, whereas self-regulation processes, which involve monitoring one’s practices and adapting strategies according to feedback, are important in maintaining behaviors. T-tests revealed a significant effect of computerized feedback on nutritional knowledge (t = 2.67, p < .05), self-efficacy (t = 3.13, p < .01), dietary beliefs (t = 2.36, p < .05), and food consumption (t = 2.05, p <.05). Hence, greater accuracy and constancy of feedback may impact personal cognitions, which may lead to dietary adjustments and maintenance of behavior.

Keywords: Diet, Self-regulation, Health Psychology, Health Education

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.93-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 385.924KB)).

Dr. Gloria McNamara

Assistant Professor, Health Education Department, City University of New York, New York, New York, USA

Dr. Gloria McNamara is an assistant professor at the City University of New York, where she teaches undergraduate courses in health, fitness, nutrition, and environmental health. Her research focuses on health promotion and behavior change mainly by targeting individual's cognition as well as their physical and social environments. In addition, Dr. McNamara has served as a consultant to the NYC Board of Education's Office of Food and Nutrition Services and other non-profit health and community services.