Public and Allied Health Faculty Publications

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Previous plant-based diet (PBD) adoption strategies have primarily focused on health rather than environmental rationale and meat reduction rather than plant-based protein promotion. In this study, we explored the effect of a theory-informed text-message intervention on dietary intentions and behaviors in young adult omnivores and the potential explanatory role of PBD beliefs, subjective norm, self-efficacy, moral norm, and health and environmental values. Participants completed baseline questionnaires and reported dietary intake before being randomly assigned to receive 2–3 health- or environment-focused text messages per week for eight weeks and then repeated baseline assessments. Although we did not see significant changes in meat or plant protein intake, we did observe a marked decrease in intentions to consume animal protein and a marginal increase in fruit and vegetable consumption intention. We identified subjective norms, self-efficacy, and moral satisfaction as the strongest predictors of changes in intention to consume animal or plant protein. Although few group differences were observed, those receiving environment-focused text messages experienced a greater change in values and were more likely to increase vegetable intake. Messages that improve sustainability awareness and provide practical adoption strategies may be part of an effective strategy to influence PBD intake among young adults.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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