Predicting fruit and vegetable consumption in long-haul heavy goods vehicle drivers: Application of a multi-theory, dual-phase model and the contribution of past behaviour
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Fruit and vegetable intake is insufficient in industrialized nations and long-haul heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers are considered a particularly at-risk group. The aim of the current study was to test the effectiveness of a multi-theory, dual-phase model to predict fruit and vegetable consumption in Australian long-haul HGV drivers. A secondary aim was to examine the effect of past fruit and vegetable consumption on model paths. A prospective design with two waves of data collection spaced one week apart was adopted. Long-haul HGV drivers (N = 212) completed an initial survey containing theory-based measures of motivation (autonomous motivation, intention), social cognition (attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control), and volition (action planning, coping planning) for fruit and vegetable consumption. One week later, participants (n = 84) completed a self-report measure of fruit and vegetable intake over the previous week. A structural equation model revealed that autonomous motivation predicted intentions, mediated through attitudes and perceived behavioural control. It further revealed that perceived behavioural control, action planning, and intentions predicted fruit and vegetable intake, whereby the intention-behaviour relationship was moderated by coping planning. Inclusion of past behaviour attenuated the effects of these variables. The model identified the relative contribution of motivation, social cognition, and volitional components in predicting fruit and vegetable intake of HGV drivers. Consistent with previous research, inclusion of past fruit and vegetable consumption led to an attenuation of model effects, particularly the intention-behaviour relationship. Further investigation is needed to determine which elements of past behaviour exert most influence on future action.
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