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Social Mechanisms for Weight-related Behaviors among Emerging Adults

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Objective: The purpose of this research was to assess young people's perceptions about how friends impact eating and physical activity (PA) behaviors. Methods: Emerging adults (N = 52; Mean age = 18.7±0.6 years; 50% female) attending a large 4-year college campus in the southwestern United States were enrolled in focus groups (N = 10). Following saturation, the research team met to establish consensus and co-create a codebook from which 2 researchers independently coded each focus group. Coders continually discussed themes to ensure consistency of coding. Results: Initially, youth reported that their friends did not influence their eating/PA. The major social facilitators identified by students were encouragement, social cues, celebrations, shared experiences, pressure. Conclusion: Several social facilitators impacted eating and PA. These factors should be considered when designing obesity interventions with emerging adults.
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Keywords: EATING BEHAVIOR; EMERGING ADULTS; FOCUS GROUPS; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; SOCIAL INFLUENCES ON EATING; SOCIAL INFLUENCES ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2017

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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