A new theory-based, web-delivered course has now been developed by a team of researchers, which will help young adults manage weight and reduce their risk of obesity.
According to lead author Kendra K. Kattelmann from South Dakota State University, the course, Project YEAH (Young Adults Eating and Active for Health), represents an intervention that pilot-test college student participants found relevant and useful, gained participants' attention, instilled confidence in participants' ability to apply the information gained, and provided a sense of satisfaction.
Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED method, based on the Community-Based Participatory Research model, Kattelmann and her colleagues recruited college students from all associated universities to create a program specifically addressing issues regarding those in the transition between adolescence and adulthood.
Through several phases of development, students' motivations, barriers, and desires beyond health and weight were determined, as well as the environment surrounding the students.
After determining the importance and changeability of all these factors, the information was synthesized to create Project YEAH.
The resulting Project YEAH course was specifically developed to include a website for participant interaction.
The website allowed for more individualized attention to the participants, including goals and tips.
Using a program like this, along with a Community-Based Participatory Research model, allows Project YEAH to be more flexible in terms of adoption across multiple locations, such as college campuses, and therefore more successful in theory.
The researchers believe Project YEAH to be the first course of its kind. However, because it implements the PRECEDE-PROCEDE method, they trust it can be successfully applied widely to provide young adults with successful strategies to achieve and maintain good health.
The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.