The Effect of Goal Setting on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Physical Activity Level in a Web-Based Intervention

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Objective: To explore the relationship between goal setting and fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption and physical activity (PA) in an intervention for college students. Methods: Secondary data analysis of intervention group participants from a 10-week online intervention with complete weekly data (n = 724). Outcomes (cups of FV per day and minutes of PA per week) and goals for both behaviors were reported online each week. Weekly differences between goals and behaviors were calculated, as well as the proportion meeting individual goals and meeting recommendations for behaviors. Results: There were significant (. P < .05) effects of goal setting on both behaviors and of goal group (tertile of meeting weekly goals) on behavior, as well as meeting recommendations for both behaviors. There was an increase in FV consumption (. P < .001) but no change in PA over time. Conclusions and Implications: Goal setting as part of a Web-based intervention for college students was effective, but results differed for FV and PA. Goal setting for maintaining behavior may need to differ from goal setting for changing behavior.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior