Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Press release] ‘Nudges’ try to help college students live healthier

‘Nudges’ try to help college students live healthier 

 

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Students run up the bleachers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the University of Florida campus. A new national study aimed at preventing college students from gaining weight used Internet lessons and “nudges” to try to get them to live healthier lifestyles. Karla Shelnutt, a UF/IFAS assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences and a study investigator, considers the web messages successful if they helped students progress from thinking about eating more fruits and vegetables to actually doing so.Credit: UF/IFAS file photo.

From the 14 November 2014 University of Florida press release:

From the 12 November 2014 University of Florida press release

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Internet lessons and “tailored” text alerts can help some young people adopt healthier lifestyles, according to a national study aimed at preventing weight gain.

Although experimental group students didn’t gain or lose more weight than their control group counterparts, researchers remain hopeful the Internet-message approach can work because it helped college students progress from what researchers call the “contemplative stage” to the “action stage.”

An example of the contemplative stage would be someone who’s thinking about trying to eat fatty foods less frequently, but hasn’t taken action to do so, while someone at the action stage would choose to eat a salad, instead.

In the study, students aged 18-24 received individually targeted messages. Some students were in the “pre-contemplative” stage; others fell into the “action” stage, while others were in various stages between those two.

The study, published online last week in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, found more students who received the Web messages ate more fruits and vegetables and were more physically active than those in the control group.

Researchers weren’t as concerned about students losing weight as they were with giving them strategies to lead healthier lives to prevent weight gain, said Karla Shelnutt, a University of Florida assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences.

 

 

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Making A Plan Can Help You Meet New Year’s Goals

From the 17 December 2011 Medical News Today article

When making New Year’s resolutions this year, committing to a specific plan for when and where you are going to accomplish each goal will make you more likely to succeed, says a Wake Forest University psychology professor.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Assistant Professor E.J. Masicampo found that committing to a specific plan to accomplish a goal not only makes it more likely to be done, but also gets it off your mind so you can think about other things.

“Once a plan is made, we can stop thinking about that one goal,” says Masicampo, who studies goal setting and will power. “This frees our minds to focus on other tasks or simply enjoy the current moment.”

But, not just any plan will work, he says. “The ones that work specify exactly what you are going to do, including when and where you are going to do it.”

He describes four essential elements of a successful plan:

1. Specifies exactly what you’re going to do and in what situation (where and when)

2. Is under your control and not dependent on someone else’s actions

3. Includes specific opportunities to meet the goal in situations likely to occur

4. Focuses on a goal you are motivated to accomplish…

Read the entire news article

 

December 18, 2011 Posted by | Psychology | , | Leave a comment

   

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