Effect of the nutritional stabilization program “ESNUT” on body composition, stages of change and self-perception of body image in university students

Jazmín García-Navarro Karen, Josefina Gallegos-Martínez, Jaime Reyes-Hernández


Background and objective: Adolescents have changes in diet when entering university (leaving out and irregularity in mealtimes, low intake of fruits and vegetables and high intake of junk food and sugary drinks), often body self-perception does not match the actual body composition leading young people to unhealthy practices. Nutritional educational interventions have been successful based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change. To assess the effectiveness of the educational intervention for Nutritional Stabilization “ESNUT” (name in Spanish) in body composition, stages of change, body self-perception and the concordance level with BMI of students newly admitted to a university before and in post-intervention follow-ups.

Methods: Quasi-experimental study with control group in students from 17 to 21 years newly admitted to a university who agreed to participate in the study. Independent variable: Educational intervention Nutrition Stabilization Model “ESNUT” and dependent variables: body self-perception, body composition, BMI. Instruments: SECA 274 digital stadiometer, InBody 230 Bioimpedanciometer, body silhouettes test and change assessment scale of the University of Rhode Island (URICA). Analysis. Descriptive statistics, student’s t (comparison of means) and Pearson's r (correlation) with support from the statistical program SPSS version 18.

Results: About 50% of the experimental group showed normal nutritional status according to the Real BMI but only 17% according to the fat mass percentage in the third month of follow-up was 50%. A discrepancy was observed with the Perceived BMI, 67% had a self-perception of normal weight. In the experimental precontemplation group, at basal near 50%, it finally reduced 20% and placed in preparation/action.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of the “ESNUT” intervention was observed in the experimental group through body composition with a reduction in the percentage of fat mass, therefore Overweight/Obesity. Self-perception of body image in its correlated Perceived Body Mass Index (BMI) versus Real BMI increased their level of concord. The transition from pre-contemplation to contemplation was observed in the stages of change, as well as from this towards preparation/action. The control group made little progress due to relapse to predecessor stages and revealed itself in an increase in the percentage of body fat. Both the experimental and control groups tended to underestimate the perceived BMI versus the actual BMI. Clinical importance: Identifying the stage of change allows feedback in the support of the change and motivates the participants according to the stage in which they are.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v10n7p18

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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