Process evaluation of project webhealth: A nondieting web-based intervention for obesity prevention in college students

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Objective: To evaluate the motivational effect of the Project WebHealth study procedures and intervention components on weight-related health behavior changes in male and female college students. Design: Process evaluation. Setting: Eight universities in the United States. Participants: Project WebHealth participants (n = 653; 29% men). Main Outcome Measures: Participants rated motivational effects of study procedures and intervention components. Participants were grouped into outcome-based health behavior categories based on achievement of desired targets for fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, and/or body weight. Analysis: Differences in motivation from each procedure and component were analyzed by gender- and outcome-based health behavior category. Results: Women were generally more motivated than men. Compared to those who did not meet any target health behaviors, men with improved health outcomes (68%) were significantly more motivated by the skills to fuel the body lesson, goal setting, and research snippets. Their female counterparts (63%) were significantly more motivated by the lessons on body size and eating enjoyment, and by the suggested weekly activities. Conclusions and Implications: Specific study procedures and components of Project WebHealth motivated study participants to improve their weight-related health behaviors, and they differed by gender. Findings support the need for gender-tailored interventions in this population. © 2013 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior