Motivation, self-efficacy, physical activity and nutrition in college students: randomized controlled trial of an internet-based education program

Prev Med. 2008 Oct;47(4):369-77. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.06.013. Epub 2008 Jun 28.


Objective: (MSB-N) is an internet-based nutrition and physical activity education program for college students.

Method: Students from six universities (N=476) in the U.S. were randomly assigned in the fall of 2005 to one of three groups: MSB-N (Experimental I), MSB-N plus Booster (Experimental II), or an attention placebo control group.

Results: Experimental I and II group participants increased their fruit and vegetable intake by .33 and .24 servings, respectively, relative to the control group at post-test. Both experimental groups improved their motivation to change eating behaviors (p<.05) and were also more likely to increase their social support and self-efficacy for dietary change (p's<.05). Experimental groups also improved their attitude toward exercise (p<.05), but no behavioral changes in physical activity were noted.

Conclusion: is an effective internet-based program that may have wide applicability on college campuses for nutrition education and promoting change in health behaviors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Diet*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Students / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult