The myth of knowledge within a robust nutrition online training course

Date23 December 2019
Publication Date23 December 2019
AuthorCathy Weng,Isaac Manyonge Matere,Abirami Rathinasabapathi,Anita Zichun Chu
SubjectLibrary & information science,Information behaviour & retrieval,Collection building & management,Bibliometrics,Databases,Information & knowledge management,Information & communications technology,Internet,Records management & preservation,Document management
The myth of knowledge
within a robust nutrition
online training course
Cathy Weng, Isaac Manyonge Matere and Abirami Rathinasabapathi
Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education,
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, and
Anita Zichun Chu
Department of Educational Management,
National Taipei University of Education, Taipei, Taiwan
Purpose The purpose of this paper was to develop a predictor model for an online nutrition course on
sugar reduction. The proposed model is based on health knowledge, healthy behavior, social support,
self-efficacy, attitude and the health belief model in relation to peoples behavior within a Facebook group.
Subsequently, the model can be used to design a robust online training course for human resources, thereby
reducing the training costs which managers have experienced as being expensive.
Design/methodology/approach A single pre-post experimental group design was used. Pre and post
data were collected from 100 Facebook users using an online questionnaire, within a three-week intervention.
Findings The results show a significant difference between pre- and post-test scores of health knowledge
and healthy behavior, indicating an effective intervention. In addition, perceived barriers, attitude,
self-efficacy and emotional support were significant predictors of the healthy behavior model, predicting
70 percent of healthy behavior. However, knowledge had no significant relationship with any of the three
dependent variables (self-efficacy, attitude and healthy behavior) proposed.
Practical implications This model has proved to be an effective intervention which can be used in online
training of human resources, because the content of the training is known from the predictor model, thereby
greatly reducing the training cost, since everything is done online. Moreover, the provided model and
predictors show that the content to be delivered in the training program is not knowledge but perceived
barriers, attitude, self-efficacy and emotional support.
Originality/value This study is one of the first to propose an integrative model that suggests attitude and
self-efficacy as key predictors of healthy behavior whereas knowledge is not.
Keywords Human resource, Health belief model, Healthy behaviours, Perceived barriers,
Sugar sweetened beverages
Paper type Research paper
Sugar consumption is increasingly discussed as an intervention target to reduce the
prevalence of diabetes, obesity and other non-communicable diseases (World Health
Organization, 2015; Newens and Walton, 2016). This has made the role of dietary sugars a
rising active public health issue (Ha et al., 2016). It has prompted many governments and
worldwide health organizations to review the evidence on the role of dietary sugars and
their related disorders (Stanhope, 2016). Such disorders and diseases include obesity,
cardio-vascular disease, dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver
disease, cancer, higher depression prevalence and cognitive failure (Davy and Jahren, 2016;
Yu et al., 2016). Although the chronic complications of these diseases can effectively be
prevented or delayed, most people with diabetes still suffer from them (Gagliardino et al.,
2007). Recently, studies have shown that poor diabetes care is partly due to the prevalent,
Online Information Review
Vol. 44 No. 1, 2020
pp. 162-180
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/OIR-05-2019-0168
Received 19 May 2019
Revised 23 October 2019
Accepted 19 November 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. This research did not receive any specific
grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or nonprofit sectors.
misguided attitudes of both healthcare providers and people with diabetes (Gagliardino
et al., 2007). Therefore, patients who report high levels of adherence to diabetes care or
control usually have more positive attitudes toward disease management. However, people
still mismanage their health again by consuming a high amount of sugar sweetened
beverages (SSBs) (Stanhope, 2016). SSBs are defined as sugar that is not found naturally in
foods and consists mainly of sucrose, artificial food colorings, preservatives and high
fructose corn syrup (Ha et al., 2016).
Research by Yu et al. (2016) on SSBs highlighted that there is an adverse correlation
between SSBs and attention hyperactivity disorder in children. Moreover, they reported that
a correlation existed between adolescent obesity and SSB consumption in Taiwanese people.
This result is similar to the study by Newens and Walton (2016) which indicated that greater
consumption of SSB is associated with weight gain and obesity. Furthermore, findings on
college students from a 2011 national survey of Taiwan indicated unhealthy eating
behaviors of frequent fast foods, SSB consumption, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake
(Tzeng, 2008).
The above risks have made many organizations focus on the well-being of their human
resources because of the regular role they play for organizations to succeed (Hafeez and
Akbar, 2015). Regular training of human resources is considered to have a massive impact
on organizational efficiency, and to improve the productivity and health of employees
(Wu et al., 2017; Ramadevi et al., 2016). Such training can either be in professional fields or in
health-related fields (Hafeez and Akbar, 2015). However, barriers such as poor training
content, poor delivery styles, and high training costs are experienced during training
(Hafeez and Akbar, 2015). Therefore, to minimize the cost of training and to offer more
robust training content on excessive sugar consumption, this research proposes developing
an online predictor multimedia model which can be used to teach and train human resources
about the dangerously high levels of sugar on a Taiwanese Facebook group based on the
health belief model (HBM). The proposed model will serve as an example of a robust
training program that is economical and easy to deliver through Facebook.
Background information
Research on theory-based intervention in changing health behavior has increased
dramatically. Much of this research has focused on studying the explanatory and predictive
validity of behavior (Nigg et al., 2002; Gourlan et al., 2016). Other theories include Social
Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1977), the Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior, the
Self-Determination Theory, HBM and the Trans-Theoretical Model (Rosenstock, 1974;
Gourlan et al., 2016). Lately, wider approaches to understanding health behavior have
emerged to pursue health promotion and health behavior change. Some of the approaches
include ecological models and community models of intervention (McLeroy et al., 1988). In
addition to theories and models, intervention approaches have been expanded to include
policy changes that have been applied to several studies of health promotion and nutrition
(Michie et al., 2017). Even though several health behavior theories have been used to inform
health intervention designs, the HBM is one of the most widely used frameworks that can be
effective in understanding health behavior (Patton et al., 2017). This framework provides
systematic defined variables including perceived suscep tibility, perceived severity,
perceived benefits and perceived barriers (Kim and Zane, 2016). They can be used to
measure the impact of various psychosocial constructs upon a persons willingness to
engage in and maintain health-related behaviors (Kim and Zane, 2016). Studies have used
HBM to assess the effectiveness application in diabetes care and in designing prevention
programs (Tan, 2004). However, HBMs determinants are insufficient predictors of certain
behavior, and it was proposed that overall motivation to pursue healthy behavior should be
included (Becker, 1974; Patton et al., 2017; Ahadzadeh et al., 2018). In response to the above
A robust
nutrition online
training course

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