My student body: effects of an internet-based prevention program to decrease obesity among college students

J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(4):324-30. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2011.623333.


Objective: To determine the impact of My Student Body (MSB)-Nutrition, an Internet-based obesity prevention program for college students.

Participants: Three hundred and twenty ethnically diverse undergraduate students were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: MSB-Nutrition program, an on-campus weight management course, and a comparison group.

Methods: Students completed baseline and follow-up surveys regarding their nutrition and physical activity behaviors, self-efficacy, stress, attitudes, and body weight.

Results: Compared with the on-campus course and a comparison group, the MSB-Nutrition program increased fruit and vegetable consumption, reduced stress, and increased fruit and vegetable self-efficacy but had no significant effect on students' exercise self-efficacy, exercise behavior, or weight loss.

Conclusions: The MSB-Nutrition program was effective in changing students' nutrition behaviors but had no effect on physical activity behaviors or weight loss. Suggestions for improving Internet-based interventions aimed at decreasing obesity rates among college students are offered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Self Efficacy
  • Students*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult