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To investigate the effectiveness of an online, interactive intervention, referred to as the Green Eating (GE) Project, to motivate university students to adopt GE behaviours.
The study was quasi-experimental and integrated into courses for credit/extra credit. Courses were randomly stratified into experimental or non-treatment control. The 5-week intervention consisted of four modules based on different GE topics. Participants completed the GE survey at baseline (experimental, n 241; control, n 367) and post (experimental, n 187; control, n 304). The GE survey has been previously validated and consists of Transtheoretical Model constructs including stage of change (SOC), decisional balance (DB: Pros and Cons) and self-efficacy (SE: School and Home) as well as behaviours for GE. Modules contained basic information regarding each topic and knowledge items to assess content learning.
The GE Project took place at a public university in the north-eastern USA.
Participants were full-time students between the ages of 18 and 24 years.
The GE Project was effective in significantly increasing GE behaviours, DB Pros, SE School and knowledge in experimental compared with control, but did not reduce DB Cons or increase SE Home. Experimental participants were also more likely to be in later SOC for GE at post testing.
The GE Project was effective in increasing GE behaviours in university students. Motivating consumers towards adopting GE could assist in potentially mitigating negative consequences of the food system on the environment. Future research could tailor the intervention to participant SOC to further increase the effects or design the modules for other participants.
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