Background: There is a rapid spurt in non-communicable diseases because of some significant changes in nutrition patterns around the globe. Controlling the main risk factors, namely lack of physical activity and smoking, might decrease more than 50% of the deaths and disabilities caused by these factors. This study aimed to investigate the effective factors of healthy food behavior based on the application cognitive social theory to 13 to 15-year- old students.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 330 students aged 13–15 years, in Zarrin- Dasht County, Fars Province, south of Iran who were randomly selected from public schools assigned to the study in 2016. The data gathering tools were demographic questionnaire, a researcher-made questionnaire of social cognitive theory (outcome expectations, outcome values, self-efficacy, social support, and self-regulation), and another questionnaire on nutritional behavior. Questionnaires were completed by students. For analyzing data, the SPSS-22 software, multiple regression, and correlation tests were used.
Results: 330 students aged 13–15 years with seventh, eighth and ninth educational grade participated in this study. Among different constructs of social cognitive theory, outcome expectations (P=0.001), social support (P=0.005), and self-regulation (P=0.001), have made significant contribution to the explanation of the variance of appropriate nutritional behavior among the students. In total, these variables account for approximately 63% of the variance of nutritional behaviors.
According to the results of this study outcome expectations, social support, and self-regulation might be effective in designing educational interventions to achieve healthy food behavior in students.