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Title: Stage of change toward “9-a-day” not “5-a-day” is associated with lower body weight.
Authors: Bawadi, Hiba 
Tayyem, Reema 
Muhanna, Safaa 
Tuuri, Georgianna 
Keenan, Michael J. 
Faris, Moez 
Losso, Jack 
Keywords: Obesity - Diet therapy;Diet therapy;Vegetables in human nutrition;Fruit in human nutrition;Stage of change
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Purpose – This study aims to assess the students’ stage of change (SOC) for fruits and vegetables (FV) consumption using the 5-a-day and 9-a-day patterns; to validate a tool to measure SOC for consuming 5-a-day and 9-a-day of FV; and to investigate the relationship between SOC for FV consumption and body weight among Jordanian college students. Design/methodology/approach – A cross-sectional study was conducted and included a convenient sample of 788 college students (47.7 per cent men and 52.2 per cent women) who completed validated questionnaires which included socio-demographic data, readiness to consume 5-a-day and 9-a-day servings of FV daily and FV consumption behaviors. Students’ heights and weights were measured. SOC for participants was examined using reparation, contemplation, pre-contemplation, action and maintenance stages. Findings – A majority (69.9 per cent) of college students were in the pre-contemplation stage with regard to 9-a-day behavior. Females tended to be classified in the action stage more than males (P < 0.001). After controlling for age, gender and energy consumption, a significant (P < 0.05) inverse relationship was found between maintenance or action SOC for consuming 9-a-day behavior and body mass index (BMI). A large proportion of college students were in a pre-action stage for either consuming 5-a-day or 9-a-day of FV. Those students who followed the 9-a-day recommendations had significantly (P < 0.05) lower BMI values that those students in the pre-action stages. Originality/value – The current study is genuine and original, and valuable in designing new strategies in lowering obesity and its comorbidities.
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