Poster Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences
Poster Board Number: 163
Objective: The objective of this 9-month quasi-experimental study was to examine the impact of gain- and loss-framed messages on nutrition and physical activity (PA) knowledge in 4th-grade students participating in the Shaping Healthy Choices Program (SHCP), a multicomponent nutrition program.
Methods: Eight 4th-grade classrooms participating in the University of California CalFresh Nutrition Education Program were recruited and divided into one of three groups: 1) No Messages (2 classrooms, n = 50); 2) Loss-Framed Messages (3 classrooms, n = 76); and 3) Gain-Framed Messages (3 classrooms, n = 67). Students participated in the SHCP and received accelerometers to sync on a tablet in the classroom to view their activity. The gain- and loss-framed groups also viewed a health message on the tablet. Analyses were conducted on data from students that completed both pre- and post-tests. For all outcomes, means and standard deviations for each group were calculated and distributions were examined for normality. Change in outcomes was calculated by subtracting pre- from post-scores. Analyses were conducted using STATA 14.0. Paired t tests, ANOVA and Bonferroni for multiple comparisons were used.
Results: Students that participated in the SHCP improved nutrition knowledge in the no message group (+1.3 points, P = 0.04), loss-framed group (+1.9 points, P = 0.01), and gain-framed group (+2.6 points, P = 0.01). Improvements in PA knowledge were also demonstrated in the no message group (+1.6 points, P < 0.01), loss-framed group (+1.3 points, P < 0.01), and gain-framed group (+2.5 points, P = 0.01). Students that received gain-framed messages significantly improved PA knowledge as compared to students that received loss-framed messages (+1.2 point difference, P = 0.04). Students in the loss-framed group reported a decrease in self-efficacy from pre- to post- (-1.2, P = 0.05), while this was not observed in the other groups<./p>
Conclusions: These results show that the SHCP improves nutrition and PA knowledge and the positive reinforcement further strengthens some of these improvements, while loss-framed messaging can contribute to undesirable outcomes, such as reduced self-efficacy. Incorporating positive reinforcement through gain-framed messages can be a relatively low-cost avenue for supporting beneficial outcomes.
University of California, Davis