• Multimodal Nutrition Education Intervention: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Study on Weight Gain and Physical Activity Pattern Among University Students in Terengganu, Malaysia

    Mal J Nutr 19(3): 339 – 352, 2013

    Multimodal Nutrition Education Intervention: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Study on Weight Gain and Physical Activity Pattern Among University Students in Terengganu, Malaysia 
    Lua PL, Wan Dali WPE & Shahril MR
    Centre for Community Development and Quality of Life (CCDQ), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Kampus Kota, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

    ABSTRACT

    Introduction: This cluster randomised controlled study design aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing nutrition education intervention (NEI) that targeted at incremental reduction of body weight and increased physical activity level among university students. Methods: Body weight and physical activity level were assessed before and after intervention. A total of 417 university students from four public universities in Terengganu participated in the study. They were randomly selected and assigned into two arms, that is, intervention group (IG) or control group (CG) according to their cluster. The IG received 10 weeks intervention focused on NEI promotion using three modes which were conventional lecture, three brochures as take-home messages and text messages for intervention reinforcement while CG did not receive any intervention. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and adjusted effect size were used to determine differences in body weight and physical activity levels between groups and time. Results: No significant changes in body weight were observed among both groups. The average weight and body mass index (BM!) were slightly reduced in IG compared to CG after the 10-week intervention (p>0.05). Nevertheless, physical activity level improved significantly among IG participants compared to CG with increased metabolic equivalent (MET) min/ week spent for walking, moderate and vigorous activities and significantly decreased sitting time. The largest adjusted effect size was shown in total physical activity (0.75). Conclusion: The multimodal NEI had a positive influence on physical activity outcomes among university students. NEI should be continuously implemented in this particular population group. 

    Keywords: Brochure, nutrition lecture, physical activity, text messaging, university students

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