Persuading students to exercise: What is the best way to frame messages for normal-weight versus overweight/obese university students?

Andrea T. Kozak, Christine Nguyen, Brenton R. Yanos, Angela Fought

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-273
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

Keywords

  • body mass index
  • college students
  • exercise
  • message framing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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