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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


LOPEZ-MAUPOME, Andrea; MARVAN, Mª Luisa  and  VACIO, Ángeles. Development of eating behavior skills in situations of social coexistence with peers as a strategy for monitoring nutritional treatment: A randomized trial. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2020, vol.24, n.2, pp.133-142.  Epub Jan 11, 2021. ISSN 2174-5145.


The aim of the study was to design and evaluate a psychoeducational program, based on the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model, to enhance overweight or obese college students to follow a nutritional treatment during situations that involve eating with their peers.

Material and Methods:

The study design was experimental pre/post with control group. 32 college students participated voluntarily and were randomized to the intervention group (n=17) or control group (n=15). There were assessed: body composition, basic nutrition knowledge, motivation, healthy practices and overeating levels. The Overeating Questionnaire and a questionnaire designed by the authors were used. The intervention program consisted of four 60-minute sessions and was applied individually. Differences in body composition were calculated with the Student’s T-test and the effect size with Cohen’s D. Changes in basic knowledge, motivation, healthy practices and overeating were calculated with the Mann-Whitney U test and with Pearson contingency coefficient.


When comparing the anthropometric measurements of both groups, there were no differences at baseline; however, at final evaluation the intervention group had lower Body Mass Index (BMI) (27.41kg/m2) and fat percentage (29.54%) than the control group (29.28kg/m2; 35.24%) (p<0.048; p<0.050). These two measurements had a more evident decrease in the intervention group when comparing the final evaluation versus the baseline evaluation (p<0.0001). Regarding the other evaluations, the level of basic knowledge of nutrition and healthy practices were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group in the final evaluation (p<0.006; p<0.032). In contrast, the overeating was lower in the intervention group (p<0.026).


The psychoeducational program that addressed a social component, improved the nutritional treatment outcomes, such as body composition and healthy eating habits.

Keywords : Overweight; Obesity; Students; Social Environment; Food Preferences; Body Composition; Feeding Behavior; Hyperphagia; IMB Model.

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