Objective: The authors investigated the effect of gain-framed (GF) compared with loss-framed (LF) messages on exercise behaviors in normal weight and among overweight/class I obese. The authors also examined which groups would have significantly improved exercise behaviors over time. Participants: Sixty-four undergraduates were randomized to the 4 groups by message type and weight category from September 2008 to December 2011. Methods: After screening, students received messages and attended an exercise instruction session. Results: There were no significant differences between GF or LF message groups among normal weight or overweight/obese on the primary outcomes at posttest. After receiving the GF messages, the overweight/obese group was the only group to have a significant increase on all 3 primary outcomes: fitness center attendance (p =.038), combined moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity (p =.005), and strength training (p =.037). Conclusions: The exercise behaviors of undergraduate students who are overweight or obese can benefit from GF messages.
- body mass index
- college students
- message framing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health