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Abstract

This study examined the extent to which the constructs of social cognitive theory (SCT) can predict snack food consumption among elementary school-age children. A valid and reliable 22-item instrument was administered to 212 children. Snack food consumption was evaluated by asking children to recall and report all foods consumed outside of meals in the previous 24 hours. On average, the children consumed 513 calories from snack foods per day. Most came from sugar-sweetened beverages and calorically dense snacks. Fruit and vegetable snacks were positively predicted by self-control ( R2

= 0.017), and sugar-sweetened beverage snacks were negatively predicted by self-control (R2

= 0.022). SCT is a prominent theory in health education and promotion. The findings suggest that self-control may be an important construct to snack food intake.

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