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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Validation of the Food Choice Knowledge and Self-Efficacy Scales

Consumer food choice has important implications to the obesity epidemic. As part of a study of food choice among college students (n = 93), this paper describes the development and validation of a brief food-choice knowledge, confidence and self-efficacy scale. This instrument mimics food selection by presenting ten pairs of similar meal items (e.g., doughnut & bagel) and asking respondents to identify the healthier item (Knowledge). Next, respondents are asked, “How confident are you with your choice?” using a five-point Likert scale, from “Not at all confident” to “Very Confident” (Knowledge Confidence). Finally, respondents are asked, “How confident are you that you would eat the healthier food?” (Self-Efficacy). As an incentive, the researcher paid for a $5 lunch at the college food court with the instructions that students were to select a healthy lunch. Results indicate moderate reliability and validity. Knowledge correlated with food consumed. Self-Efficacy correlated with BMI. No association was found with exercise behavior, as expected. Implications include revision of items and use of this instrument in research and nutrition education program evaluation.

Presenters: Erin Halligan (Graduate Student)
Douglas Scheidt (Faculty)
Topic: Health Science
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 11:05 am (Session II)