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Efficacy of the transtheoretical model in improving exercise and dietary habits in enlisted Air Force personnel

dc.contributor.authorVeverka, Donald Victor, author
dc.contributor.authorJennifer Anderson, advisor
dc.contributor.authorAuld, Garry, committee member
dc.contributor.authorCoulter, Gary, committee member
dc.contributor.authorKennedy, Cathy, committee member
dc.contributor.authorChapman, Philip, committee member
dc.description.abstractAs a means of maintaining a fit and ready force, the United States military establishment has always incorporated fitness and weight standards for its personnel. According to data obtained by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Surgeon General's Office, most personnel pass their fitness tests. However, one particular segment, men between 30 to 44 years of age, have lower scores and appear to have more difficulty passing. Although the USAF has existing nutrition and exercise programs to assist efforts towards greater physical fitness levels and improved dietary habits, these programs may only be suited for individuals that are motivated to improve these behaviors. According to the literature, there are individuals that may need to improve dietary and physical activity behaviors but are not motivated to do so. A more effective approach, according to previous behavior change studies, is to implement a strategy, which uses stage-matched interventions based on the Transtheoretical model (TTM). In short, devise programs that correctly identify an individual's motivation for engaging in a health behavior (stage of readiness to improve) and then match the appropriate intervention for the individual. Using male enlisted Air Force personnel between the ages of 30-44 as the target population, focus groups were used to obtain qualitative information on diet and exercise habits to improve fitness scores. Results revealed that participants needed assistance in obtaining information concerning both diet and exercise in order to successfully define and implement a program which would lead to increased fitness . Further, participants selected various methods by which to receive this information. Specifically, to help increase their physical activity, participants needed further education on cycle ergometry, goal-setting, and ways to avoid injury during exercise. In order for test subjects to develop healthy eating habits, the group was provided information on how to sort out media misinformation, prepare healthy foods quickly, understand food labels and determine safety and efficacy of popular dietary supplements. Handout literature, web sites and seminar/discussion formats were the most effective ways for test subjects to receive information. Using the qualitative focus group data from the aforementioned target population, an intervention program based on the TTM was developed and provided via the worldwide web. Use of interactive technology such as computers and the Internet are strongly advocated by health promotion professionals as an effective means of reaching large numbers of at risk populations with specifically tailored information. There was no evidence that treatment group exposure to the web site program was effective in increasing fitness scores. The data suggest that the physical activity-tailored information content was not effective in encouraging greater exercise intensity which positively impacted fitness levels. However, the dietary-tailored information appears to have encouraged the adoption of more positive nutritional practices, as manifested by the beneficial effects seen in certain secondary outcomes. Stage progression was evident as more treatment subjects than controls advanced to higher stages of positive dietary and exercise behaviors. More treatment group subjects reported improved dietary behaviors than reported increases in exercise behaviors. Treatment subjects did not report any relapse in physical activity as opposed to control subjects who reported a high level of regression towards sedentary physical behaviors.
dc.format.mediumdoctoral dissertations
dc.publisherColorado State University. Libraries
dc.relationCatalog record number (MMS ID): 991013878649703361
dc.relationRA781 .V47 2001
dc.rightsCopyright and other restrictions may apply. User is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. For information about copyright law, please see
dc.subject.lcshUnited States Air Force
dc.subject.lcshPhysical fitness
dc.subject.lcshFood habits
dc.titleEfficacy of the transtheoretical model in improving exercise and dietary habits in enlisted Air Force personnel
dcterms.rights.dplaThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights ( You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). Science and Human Nutrition State University of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


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