Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.17(1) > 1038342

Korean J Community Nutr. 2012 Feb;17(1):1-13. Korean.
Published online February 29, 2012.
Copyright © 2012 The Korean Society of Community Nutrition
Beliefs Regarding Vegetable Consumption, Self-Efficacy and Eating Behaviors according to the Stages of Change in Vegetable Consumption among College Students
Yun Ahn and Kyung Won Kim
Department of Food & Nutrition, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea.

Corresponding author: Kyung Won Kim, Department of Food & Nutrition, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul Women's University, 621 Hwarangro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 139-774, Korea. Tel: (02) 970-5647, Fax: (02) 976-4049, Email:
Received January 04, 2012; Revised February 05, 2012; Accepted February 05, 2012.


The purpose of this study was to examine beliefs, self-efficacy and eating behaviors by the stages of change in vegetable consumption among college students (n = 297). A survey was conducted to examine study variables, and subjects were categorized into three groups based on the stages of change: precontemplation/contemplation stage (PC/C), preparation stage (P), action/maintenance stage (A/M). Subjects had 3.7 servings of vegetables a day, and vegetable consumption was significantly different by stages of change (p < 0.001). The A/M group showed higher score on beliefs regarding vegetable consumption (p < 0.001) than the other groups, and perceived benefits of vegetable consumption (e.g. cancer prevention) more strongly (p < 0.05). The PC/C group felt more barriers than the A/M group, such as disliking cooking methods, texture of vegetables (p < 0.001), bad taste and bad experience of eating vegetables (p < 0.05). Self-efficacy score was 27.2, with decreasing self-efficacy from A/M to P, PC/C (p < 0.001). The A/M group showed more confidence in nine behaviors such as "eating vegetables during meals" and "replacing menu at home with more vegetable dishes" (p < 0.001) than the other groups. The A/M group had more desirable eating behaviors (e.g, having a variety of foods, eating regularly, consumption of food groups). This study suggests that target population for education and educational strategies be different based on the stages of change. For those in the PC/C stage, education might focus on reducing barriers and increasing self-efficacy. For those in the A/M stage, it is necessary to use strategies to maintain and reinforce behaviors for enough vegetable consumption.

Keywords: vegetables; stages of change; beliefs; self-efficacy; college students


Table 1
General characteristics of subjects
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Table 2
Consumption of vegetables of subjects (servings/day)
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Table 3
Preference of vegetables of subjects
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Table 4
Beliefs regarding eating vegetables
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Table 5
Self-efficacy regarding eating vegetables
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Table 6
Eating behavior of subjects
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This work was supported by a special research grant from Seoul Women's University (2011).

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