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Neumark-Sztainer Dianne PhD MPH; Story, Mary PAD, RLI
Topics in Clinical Nutrition: April 1996

The use of health behavior theory in nutrition counseling may improve its effectiveness. This article provides an overview of health behavior theory and guidelines on how to incorporate various theories into nutrition counseling. Models that focus on behavior change at the individual and interpersonal level are described, including the health belief model, which focuses on individual health beliefs; social cognitive theory, which emphasizes interactions between individuals and their environment; PRECEDE, which takes a broad look at factors influencing health outcomes; the stages ofchange model, which focuses on ones stage of readiness for change; and relapse prevention. which is aimed at maintaining behavior changes. Suggestions for incorporating concepts from the different models into initial assessment of the client, the treatment process, and evaluation of clients outcome are offered.

© 1996 Aspen Publishers, Inc.