Predictors of Cold Weather Health Behaviors: A Replication and Extension
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Ths study replicated and extended prior findings that the Health Brief Model HBM can predict cold weather health behaviors CWHB. Major findings in a study of marines in cold weather training were a Perceived efficacy, one component of the HBM, was a weak, but reliable, predictor of food intake and foot care, but not of water intake. No other HBM component significantly predicted CWHB. b No strong, general predictor of CWHB was found in an extensive set of non-HBM beliefs and attitudes which were studied. c Weight loss and urine specific gravity assessments indicated minor deficiencies in food and water intake. However, even those men with low reported intakes did not report increased incidence of physical symptoms associated with malnourishment andor dehydration. e Distributing foot powder significantly improved foot care. Modification of health behaviors is unnecessary under the relatively mild weather conditions studied because the minor behavioral deficiencies that occur do not affect well-being. More extreme conditions might make behavior modification desirable in other cold weather settings. If so, modifying rations and supplying foot powder appear to be the most practical means of achieving this end.
- Stress Physiology