A randomized controlled trial of single versus multiple health behavior change: promoting physical activity and nutrition among adolescents

Health Psychol. 2004 May;23(3):314-8. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.23.3.314.


Targeting multiple behaviors for change may provide significant health benefits. This study compared interventions targeting physical activity and nutrition (PAN) concurrently versus physical activity (PA) alone. Adolescents (N=138) were randomized to the PAN or PA intervention or control condition (n=46 per group). Primary outcomes were change in PA accelerometer and 3-day dietary recording from baseline to 3-month follow-up. The PAN and PA interventions were efficacious in supporting boys' (p<.001) but not girls' (p=.663) PA relative to the control condition. Dietary change was minimal. Although the findings do not reveal a decrement to PA promotion when a nutrition intervention was added, neither do they reveal any additional benefit. More studies comparing single versus multibehavioral interventions are needed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires