Information seeking from media and family/friends increases the likelihood of engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors

A. Susana Ramírez, Derek Freres, Lourdes S. Martinez, Nehama Lewis, Angel Bourgoin, Bridget J. Kelly, Chul Joo Lee, Rebekah Nagler, J. Sanford Schwartz, Robert C. Hornik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The amount of cancer-related information available to the general population continues to grow; yet, its effects are unclear. This study extends previous cross-sectional research establishing that cancer information seeking across a variety of sources is extensive and positively associated with engaging in health-related behaviors. The authors studied how active information seeking about cancer prevention influenced three healthy lifestyle behaviors using a 2-round nationally representative sample of adults ages 40-70 years (n = 1,795), using propensity scoring to control for potential confounders including baseline behavior. The adjusted odds of dieting at follow-up were 1.51 (95% CI: 1.05, 2.19) times higher for those who reported baseline seeking from media and interpersonal sources relative to nonseekers. Baseline seekers ate 0.59 (95% CI: 0.28, 0.91) more fruits and vegetable servings per day and exercised 0.36 (95% CI: 0.12, 0.60) more days per week at 1-year follow-up compared with nonseekers. The effects of seeking from media and friends/family on eating fruits and vegetables and exercising were independent of seeking from physicians. The authors offer several explanations for why information seeking predicts healthy lifestyle behaviors: information obtained motivates these behaviors; information sought teaches specific techniques; and the act of information seeking may reinforce a psychological commitment to dieting, eating fruits and vegetables, and exercising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-542
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

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Vegetables
Fruits
vegetables
Fruit
cancer
eating behavior
Eating
Neoplasms
Health
available information
Healthy Lifestyle
Psychology
Physicians
physician
commitment
Research
Population
health

Cite this

Ramírez, A. S., Freres, D., Martinez, L. S., Lewis, N., Bourgoin, A., Kelly, B. J., ... Hornik, R. C. (2013). Information seeking from media and family/friends increases the likelihood of engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. Journal of Health Communication, 18(5), 527-542. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2012.743632

Information seeking from media and family/friends increases the likelihood of engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. / Ramírez, A. Susana; Freres, Derek; Martinez, Lourdes S.; Lewis, Nehama; Bourgoin, Angel; Kelly, Bridget J.; Lee, Chul Joo; Nagler, Rebekah; Schwartz, J. Sanford; Hornik, Robert C.

In: Journal of Health Communication, Vol. 18, No. 5, 01.05.2013, p. 527-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ramírez, AS, Freres, D, Martinez, LS, Lewis, N, Bourgoin, A, Kelly, BJ, Lee, CJ, Nagler, R, Schwartz, JS & Hornik, RC 2013, 'Information seeking from media and family/friends increases the likelihood of engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors', Journal of Health Communication, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 527-542. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2012.743632
Ramírez, A. Susana ; Freres, Derek ; Martinez, Lourdes S. ; Lewis, Nehama ; Bourgoin, Angel ; Kelly, Bridget J. ; Lee, Chul Joo ; Nagler, Rebekah ; Schwartz, J. Sanford ; Hornik, Robert C. / Information seeking from media and family/friends increases the likelihood of engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. In: Journal of Health Communication. 2013 ; Vol. 18, No. 5. pp. 527-542.
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