Increasing calcium intake in young women through gain-framed, targeted messages: A randomised controlled trial
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BACKGROUND: Adequate calcium consumption during early adulthood can help prevent osteoporosis in women. PURPOSE: The effects of gain-framed, targeted messaging on calcium intake were examined over 12 months. METHODS: Young women (18-19 years) not consuming sufficient calcium were randomly assigned to receive standard care materials (control) or gain-framed, targeted materials (experimental). Health belief model (HBM) constructs, calcium intake and markers of bone formation, resorption and bone mineral density were assessed at various time points throughout the year. RESULTS: Calcium intake increased significantly more in the experimental versus the control condition (p < 0.01). Self-efficacy was the only HBM construct to improve significantly more in the experimental condition versus control (p = 0.05). The HBM did not mediate changes in calcium intake. Measures of bone health did not differ between conditions by the end of this nonpharmacological intervention (p's > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to increase young women's calcium consumption through gain-framed, targeted messages.
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