Social influences play an important role in shaping adolescentsâ dietary and physical activity
behaviors. We examined the role of perceived modeling and perceived social support from family and friends on diet and physical activity behaviors among overweight and obese adolescents participating in a weight management trial. Adolescence is a critical period for addressing overweight and obesity, with 15.2% of U.S. adolescents in grades 9-12 overweight and 13.0% obese in 2011. Obesity during adolescence is associated with immediate and long-term negative health outcomes, including heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, depression, and continued obesity into adulthood. Healthy weight management among adolescents is critical, particularly as they establish independence and make more choices outside of the home environment, with respect to diet and physical activity behaviors. Social support for healthy eating and physical activity is correlated with positive diet and physical activity behaviors among overweight and obese adolescents. School-based or family-based obesity interventions should consider incorporating messages and/or
strategies, including internet-based and social media components, for adolescents to solicit support to maximize the beneficial effects of the intervention. Studies that systematically compare the influence of social support and modeling of healthy eating and physical activity
and assess change in the provision of social support (e.g., type, amount) from various referent groups on childrenâs diet and physical activity at different developmental stages, particular mid-to-late adolescence, are needed.
The Role of Social Support vs. Modeling on Adolescents' Diet and Physical Activity: Findings from a School-based Weight Management Trial
Last date updated on June, 2014