Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Tidwell, Diane K.

Committee Member

Briley, Chiquita A.

Committee Member

Hall, Michael E.

Committee Member

Hunt, Barry P.

Committee Member

Williams, Ronald D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


Smoking, physical activity, and insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption have been linked to increased instances of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, hypertension, numerous cancers, and complications surrounding blood pressure and blood cholesterol. In the United States approximately 22% of college students have smoked at least one cigarette in the past 30 days; 70-85% are not meeting recommended levels of physical activity; and 75% are not consuming recommended levels of fruits and vegetables. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors of self reported smokers and nonsmokers, and to determine the predictors of healthy behaviors at a mid-sized university in the southern region of the United States using the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Health Belief Model. Students in this study (N = 461) completed a written questionnaire during March-May 2012. Results indicated that 20% of the population smoked at least one cigarette in the past 30 days, with men being more likely to smoke than women. Physical activity was found to be significant to smoking status; however, fruit and vegetable consumption was not significant. Multiple regression determined the following constructs significantly predicted smoking status: attitudes and intentions from the Theory of Planned Behavior and perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and cues to action from the Health Belief Model. The results of this study may be utilized to address differences in college student engagement in adverse health behaviors, and in the enhancement of future smoking interventions on college campuses.



college student smokers||Theory of Planned Behavior||Health Belief Model