Mindfulness and Nutrition and Exercise Behaviors in College Students: The Moderating Role of Sleep Quality
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Inadequate nutrition, physical inactivity, and poor sleep quality have become increasingly common in college student populations, placing students at greater risk of being overweight or obese in adulthood. Researchers have adopted the construct of mindfulness to better understand and potentially modify health behavior. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the relationships between mindfulness and health behaviors (i.e., nutrition and exercise) in undergraduate college students. Sleep quality was tested as a moderator of these relationships. The current study also explored the unique influence of each of the five facets of mindfulness (i.e., observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonreactivity to inner experience, and nonjudging of inner experience) on college students’ nutrition and exercise behavior. The sample consisted of 357 undergraduates from colleges throughout the United States who completed online surveys. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that sleep quality moderated the relationship between mindfulness and nutrition behavior with an enhancing effect. However, moderating effects for the mindfulness-exercise behavior relationship did not hold. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses also revealed the Observe facet of mindfulness to be most predictive of nutrition behavior, whereas the Observe and Describe facets were most predictive of exercise behavior. The present findings highlight that enhancing mindfulness and improving sleep hygiene may be particularly beneficial in elevating health-promoting behavior in undergraduate college students. Limitations, future directions, and implications are discussed.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of the literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Five facet mindfulness questionnaire -- Appendix B. Health promotion lifestyle profile-II - Nutrition -- Appendix C. Health promotion lifestyle profile-II - physical activity -- Appendix D. Sleep quality index -- Appendix E. Perceived stress scale -- Appendix F. Demographic questionnaire -- Appendix G. IRB approval -- Appendix H. Solicitation email for participants -- Appendix I. Solicitation email for participants -- Appendix J. Cover letter accompanying online survey -- Appendix K. Online incentive form