Interplay Between Self-Efficacy and Perceived Availability at Home and in the School Neighborhood on Adolescents’ Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Energy-Dense, Low-Nutrient Food and Sugary Drink Consumption

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Abstract

Objective:

The current study aimed to examine the interplay between self-efficacy and perceived availabilities of fruits and vegetables (F&V) and energy-dense, low-nutrient foods and sugary drinks (EDLNF&SD) at home and in the school neighborhoods on adolescents’ eating behaviors.

Design:

The Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating study, a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey was analyzed.

Participants:

Adolescent–parent dyads (n = 1,657).

Interventions:

Self-efficacy for F&V intake and limiting EDLNF&SD consumption, perceived F&V and EDLNF&SD availabilities at home and in the school neighborhood, and F&V intake and EDLNF&SD consumption.

Analysis:

Multiple regression analyses.

Results:

Adolescents’ self-efficacy and perceived home and school neighborhood availability of F&V and EDLNF&SD had significant main effects on their F&V intake and EDLNF&SD consumption, respectively (all P < .01). The positive effect of self-efficacy on F&V intake was greater when home F&V availability was high (+1 SD; b = .29; P < .001) than when it was low (–1 SD; b = .07; P = .040). The effect of home F&V availability on F&V intake was significant when F&V were not available in the school neighborhood (b = .09; P = .006).

Conclusions and Implications:

Given the central role of home availability, it may be considered a fundamental unit of nutrition intervention for adolescents. Multiple contexts (eg, individual, home, school neighborhood) need to be considered to promote adolescents’ eating behaviors.

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