The Effects, Perceptions, and Attitudes of Previously Sedentary Individuals Starting an Exercise Program
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2020
Background: Many Americans do not eat healthfully or exercise, which is associated with higher risk of disease. Nutrition and exercise awareness have increased, but people experience barriers preventing lifestyle change. Limited research has been completed on the impact of nutrition education on dietary intake.
Objective: Examine whether starting an exercise program with or without nutrition education can influence dietary choices in previously sedentary individuals, and to determine their perceptions and attitudes.
Design: Mixed methods study gathering quantitative data through a food frequency questionnaire, InBody test, and demographics/exercise activity survey. Qualitative data was gathered through focus groups. Participants completed six weeks of exercise.
Participants: Male or female between 20 and 50 years who had been previously sedentary for at least 6 months but had started exercising between one week and three months. They had to be able to perform moderate intensity exercise at least two days per week for thirty minutes. Participants were excluded if they were pregnant (self-reported) or injured to prevent exercise. Six participants completed the study, with four participating in focus groups.
Intervention: Group A received nutrition education. Group B did not.
Main outcomes: Food choices, weight, lean body mass, body fat percentage, visceral fat, and perceptions on diet and exercise.
Statistical Analyses Performed: The Linear Mix Model was used for InBody data. Independent t-test was used for food frequency data. Dedoose and Otter were used for qualitative data.
Results: Group A significantly decreased in weight and reported eating significantly less sweets than Group B during the final assessment. Three themes emerged: Professional help, self-efficacy, and the power of habits.
Conclusions: Individuals will encounter ambivalence regardless of what stage of change they are in. Nutrition counseling can guide clients to proceed with change. Not everyone will consider changing dietary habits after starting to exercise regardless of nutrition education.
Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition and Dietetics
School of Allied Health Professions
Master of Science (MS)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Nutrition counseling; Exercise--Research.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Moreno, Arlene and Rasmussen, Megan, "The Effects, Perceptions, and Attitudes of Previously Sedentary Individuals Starting an Exercise Program" (2020). Loma Linda University Research Reports. 35.
Loma Linda University Research Reports
Loma Linda University. University Libraries.