Results of a Nutrition and Physical Activity Peer Counseling Intervention among Nontraditional College Students.
Sommaire de l'article
Health promotion efforts targeting nontraditional college students (older, part-time enrollment, and working) may be an optimal way to reach large populations that potentially face health disparities. A randomized trial was undertaken to examine the feasibility of a nutrition and physical activity behavioral intervention among nontraditional undergraduate college students at a large urban public university. Over 8 weeks, participants received either (1) a brief tailored feedback report plus three motivational interviewing-based calls from trained peer counselors (intervention; n = 40) or (2) the report only (control; n = 20). Participants mean age was 32 years (SD = 10), 58 % were female, 47 % were racial/ethnic minorities, and 25 % reported receiving public health insurance. Most (78 %) intervention group participants completed at least two of three peer counseling calls. At follow-up, those in the intervention vs. control group self-reported beneficial, but non-statistically significant changes in fruits and vegetables (+0.7 servings/day), sugary drinks (-6.2 oz/day), and fast food visits (-0.2 visits/week). For physical activity, there was a non-statistically significant decrease in moderate-vigorous physical activity (107.2 min/week) in the intervention vs.
Overall satisfaction with the program was high, although there were recommendations made for improving the structure and number of calls. Findings indicate that the intervention was feasible with promising effects on nutrition behaviors and the need to better target physical activity behaviors. Future work entails implementation in a larger sample with objectively measured behaviors.