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Intentions to consume omega-3 fatty acids: a comparison of protection motivation theory and ordered protection motivation theory

, : Intentions to consume omega-3 fatty acids: a comparison of protection motivation theory and ordered protection motivation theory. Journal of Dietary Supplements 8(2): 115-134

There has been limited research to date into methods for increasing people's intentions to use omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), which have been linked with decreased risk of suffering from numerous major diseases. The present study employed a cross-sectional design with 380 university students, employees, and visitors to investigate the efficacy of the protection motivation (PM) theory and the ordered protection motivation (OPM) theory, to predict behavioral intention to consume omega-3 rich foods and dietary supplements. Analysis of model fit indicated that both the PM model and the OPM model adequately represented the structural relationships between the cognitive variables and intention to consume n-3 PUFA. Further evaluation of relative fit of the two competing models suggested that the PM model might provide a better representation of decision-making following evaluation of the health threat of n-3 PUFA deficiency. Path analysis indicated that the component of coping appraisal was significantly associated with the behavioral intention to consume n-3 PUFA. Threat appraisal was found to be significantly associated with behavioral intention to consume n-3 PUFA only for the OPM model. Overall, the findings contribute to a better understanding of the roles that cognitive appraisal processes play in young and healthy individuals' protective health decision-making regarding consumption of n-3 PUFA. Implications of the findings and recommendations, which include (a) encouraging the consumption of n-3 PUFA as an effective barrier against the incidence of disease, and (b) effective health messaging that focuses on beliefs about the effectiveness of n-3 PUFA in reducing health risks, are discussed.


PMID: 22432684

DOI: 10.3109/19390211.2011.558569

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