SMS intervention for reducing processed meat consumption: anticipated regret and self-monitoring


  • V. Carfora
  • D. Caso
  • M. Conner


Background: The World Health Organization has affirmed that an excessive intake of red meat and processed meat is a carcinogen, then a widespread attention has been focused on this topic. Several researchers explored the efficacy of text messaging for promoting different healthy eating behaviours in new generations. To date no study investigated if a messaging intervention could be a strategy for reducing processed meat consumption (PMC) of young adults. The chosen theoretical framework was the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). Methods: A randomized controlled trial was used to test the impact of daily SMS, focused on anticipated regret and reminding participants to self-monitor PMC, compared to no message for reducing PMC over a 2 weeks period. PMC and TPB variables were assessed both at Time 1 and Time 2 with daily food diary and questionnaires. Participants were Italian undergraduates (at Time 1 N = 124). Those who completed all measures at both time points were included in the analyses (N = 112). Findings: Results found that a daily messaging intervention, controlling for participants’ past behaviour, was effective in reducing PMC. Mediation analyses indicated partial serial mediation via anticipated regret and intentions. Discussion: The present research supported the hypothesis that daily messaging intervention targeting anticipated regret and self-monitoring was effective in decreasing PMC. Outcomes showed the important mediation role of anticipated regret and intentions for reducing PMC.





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