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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Motivators and barriers to engaging in healthy eating and physical activity in young adult men

Author
item Ashton, Lee - University Of Newcastle
item Hutchesson, Melinda - University Of Newcastle
item Rollo, Megan - University Of Newcastle
item Morgan, Philip - University Of Newcastle
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item Collins, Clare - University Of Newcastle

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2014
Publication Date: 10/16/2014
Citation: Ashton, L.M., Hutchesson, M.J., Rollo, M.E., Morgan, P.J., Thompson, D.J., Collins, C.E. 2014. Motivators and barriers to engaging in healthy eating and physical activity in young adult men. Meeting Abstract. Poster 155. Available: http://beach.asnevents.com.au/assets/ANZOS/Program/ANZOS-Abstracts-13102014.pdf

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The most recent Australian Health survey identified that young men (18-24yrs) have numerous health concerns including: 42% overweight/obese, 48% not meeting national physical activity recommendations and 97% failing to consume adequate intakes of fruit and vegetables. There is a lack of engagement and general lack of understanding for the needs of young men and many health-related interventions use a 'one-size fits all' approach, failing to acknowledge the behavioral, biological and gender differences for this population group. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore young men's motivators and barriers to engaging in healthy eating and physical activity. Seven focus groups (approx. 45 minutes) were undertaken in 42 young men (18-25yrs) from Hunter region, Australia recruited from the local University, technical colleges (TAFE) and community. Separate focus groups were conducted based on self-reported BMI (4-sessions; n=28 normal weight, 3-sessions; n=14 overweight/obese). To determine motivators and barriers 4 open-ended questions were asked. Sessions were audio recorded and transcribed. Leximancer software analyzed and grouped participant responses into common themes/concepts. Responses were analyzed for whole group and by BMI. Preliminary results show the key motivators were similar for healthy eating and being physically active in the whole group (improve health/wellbeing, to feel better, improve body image, improve sports performance and attract partner). Motivators for overweight/obese young men were focused around improving image and attracting a partner, whilst motivators for normal weight young men were centered on improving sporting performance. Barriers were similar for healthy eating and being physically active in the whole group (cost and lack of: time, skills, knowledge and motivation). There were no distinct differences in barriers between BMI groups. Future health-research may look to address the motivators and barriers to tailor intervention content so it is more relevant and appealing for young men.