New Web-Based Course to Prevent Excessive Weight Gain May Improve Health in Young Adults

According to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Philadelphia, PA, January 21, 2014

The transition from adolescence to adulthood presents individuals with many challenges. Perhaps none are as important as those relating to health and quality of life. Young adults, aged 18 to 25, are at high risk for weight gain. Being mild to moderately overweight during this period substantially increases the likelihood of obesity at age 35 to 37. To prevent weight gain and promote healthy decision making, researchers from 14 institutions collaborated to develop a tailored, theory-based, web-delivered course to prevent excessive weight gain in young adults. The results are published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

The course, Project YEAH (Young Adults Eating and Active for Health), represents "an intervention that pilot-test college student participants found relevant and useful, gained participants' attention, instilled confidence in participants' ability to apply the information gained, and provided a sense of satisfaction," according to lead author Kendra K. Kattelmann, PhD, RD, Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics, Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University.

Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED method, based on the Community-Based Participatory Research model, Dr. Kattelmann and her colleagues recruited college students from all associated universities to create a program specifically addressing issues regarding those in the transition between adolescence and adulthood. Through several phases of development, students' motivations, barriers, and desires beyond health and weight were determined, as well as the environment surrounding the students. After determining the importance and changeability of all these factors, the information was synthesized to create Project YEAH.

The resulting Project YEAH course was specifically developed to include a website for participant interaction. The website allowed for more individualized attention to the participants, including goals and tips. Using a program like this, along with a Community-Based Participatory Research model, allows Project YEAH to be more flexible in terms of adoption across multiple locations, such as college campuses, and therefore more successful in theory.

The researchers believe Project YEAH to be the first course of its kind. However, because it implements the PRECEDE-PROCEDE method, they trust it can be successfully applied widely to provide young adults with successful strategies to achieve and maintain good health.


# # #


Notes for editors

"Development of Young Adults Eating and Active for Health (YEAH) Internet-Based Intervention via a Community-Based Participatory Research Model," Kendra K. Kattelmann, PhD, RD; Adrienne A. White, PhD, RD; Geoffrey W. Greene, PhD, RD; Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD; Sharon L. Hoerr, RD, PhD, FACN; Tanya M. Horacek, PhD, RD; Tandalayo Kidd, PhD, RD; Sarah Colby, PhD, RD; Beatrice W. Phillips, EdD, RD; Mallory M. Koenings, PhD; Onikia N. Brown, PhD, RD; Melissa Olfert, DrPH, MS, RD; Karla P. Shelnutt, PhD, RD; Jesse Stabile Morrell, MS, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2013.11.006, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628 or jnebmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. To schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Matt Schmidt, Senior News Editor, SDSU University Marketing & Communications at +1 605 688 5399 or Matthew.schmidt@sdstate.edu.

An audio podcast featuring an interview with Kendra K. Kattelmann and information specifically for journalists are located at www.jneb.org/content/podcast. Excerpts from the podcast may be reproduced by the media; contact Eileen Leahy to obtain permission.

About the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (www.jneb.org)
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB), the official journal of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education and dietary/physical activity behaviors. The purpose of JNEB is to document and disseminate original research, emerging issues, and practices relevant to nutrition education and behavior worldwide and to promote healthy, sustainable food choices. It supports the society's efforts to disseminate innovative nutrition education strategies, and communicate information on food, nutrition, and health issues to students, professionals, policy makers, targeted audiences, and the public.
 
The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior features articles that provide new insights and useful findings related to nutrition education research, practice, and policy. The content areas of JNEB reflect the diverse interests of health, nutrition, education, Cooperative Extension, and other professionals working in areas related to nutrition education and behavior. As the Society's official journal, JNEB also includes occasional policy statements, issue perspectives, and member communications.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence,and ClinicalKey—and publishes over 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media contact
Eileen Leahy
Elsevier
+1  732 238 3628
jnebmedia@elsevier.com