Translating Theory into Strategies


TranslatingTheory into Strategies

The nutrition education goal is to facilitate behavioral adoption andmaintenance conducive to health and well-being. To effectivelyachieve this, one must shift nutrition education focus from simplyacquiring knowledge to looking at additional factors from a personaland environmental perspective, which influences dietary behavior.These determinants should be identified and prioritized to design andaddress educational strategies. Nutrition education and behavioralnutrition research theories assist in the identification andprioritizing such determinants since they are constructed withinthese theories (Realine, 2009). Nutrition education consists of twophases: the why-to or motivational phase and how-to or action phase.

There are four theories that are useful in examining the why-tophase, which include Health Belief Model (HBM), the Theory of PlannedBehavior (TPB), The Pre-Caution Adoption Model (PAPM), and theSelf-determination Theory (SDT). Again, four theories are alsoimportant in the how-to phase: Self-regulation Models,Trans-theoretical Model (TTM), Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), and theGrounded Theory Approach (GTA). The paper therefore will examine theHealth Belief Model (HBM) in the why-to phase and the SocialCognitive Theory (SCT) from the how-to aspect by looking at reasonsfor choosing the two, relevant aspects of these theories to myaudience and behavior, and how the principles could be translatedinto educational strategies.

To begin with, I chose Health Belief Model (HBM) theory in the why-tophase because of the close inter-relationship nutrition education haswith health outcomes of taking quick action based on the nutrients orfoods relationship with health. Based on this relationship, thetheory is intriguing because of the link it explains the why-toknowledge on what is motivational in nature, which could also serveas potential change mediators (Higgs, 2012). I chose this theorybecause of its theoretical constructs that are perceived benefits,severity, barriers, and cues to action of why-to information inrelation to one’s audience, for example, safe handling of foodpractices. Since the theory offer explanation to psychological healthbehavior, I chose the approach because of the predictedhealthcare-related behaviors, which is a characteristic of one’saudience.

Secondly, I chose the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) in the how-tophase because it holds that part of a person’s knowledgeacquisition, which is related directly to the sequence of eventsthrough observation of models performing a kind of behavior and itsconsequences. Again, I chose the theory because of the vital natureof the how-to phase in relation to the theory. The theory andevidence from how-to phase research suggest that coming up with anaction plan and through implementation, is important for thetranslation of intentions into actions (Glanz et al., 2002).Cognitive and nutrition-related knowledge are also the reason forpersonal agency and self-efficacy.

The Health Belief Model (HBM) theory gives suggestions that anindividual’s belief from a personal threat to a disease or illnesscombined with an individual’s belief in the recommendedeffectiveness in his or her health behavior or action is likely topredict the person’s likely to adopt the same behavior. Based onthis, the theory has an aspect that relates to my audience andbehavior. The aspect of this theory is the belief that health actionwill help prevent or cure the illness diagnosed, while anindividual’s ultimate cause of action depends on an individual’sperception of the barriers and perceptions which relates to healthbehavior of the audience (Higgs, 2012). With the perceived benefitsassociated with the aspect, the behavior of the audience isperceptive of the effectiveness that comes with numerous actionsassociated with an illness.

The aspect of Social Cognitive Theory revolves aroundinter-relationship between people and certain patterns of behavior,which also provide the basis for strategic intervention. Evaluationof change in behavior of the audience, for example, depends onenvironmental factors, people, and behavior. One aspect related to myaudience and behavior is the environment, both the physical andsocial environments. The social environment involves friends, familymembers, and colleagues while the physical environment includes theambient temperatures, certain foods, and one’s immediatesurroundings (Realine, 2009). The aspect is relevant since itprovides the framework for better understanding of the audience andtheir behavior. The environment is understood to influence both theaudience and behavior since it provides models for actions andskills.

The Health Belief Model theory can be translated into educationalstrategies. First, the theory is identified in relation to the foodsor health issue and behavioral practices, which will focus on thenutrition education program (Higgs, 2012). The audience should beaware or clear about their community practices or behaviors inrelation to executing an educational strategy. Nutrition educatorsshould then survey the interviews with important individuals orgroups, which are done by identifying beliefs and attitudes to thechosen food-related behavior through needs analysis. The SocialCognitive Theory can also be translated into educational strategiesthrough understanding behavioral intention, developing beliefs andattitudes about taking an action, and analyzing practices andbehaviors (Glanz et al., 2002). Moreover, the theory is focused onthe importance of the social and cognitive importance of social normsand control over the effort to carry out an action. The theory isthen converted into valuable outcomes and beliefs acquired throughrecommended cognitive behavior into messages, and finally toeducational activities for the groups.

In conclusion, two theories were chosen and translated intotranslation strategies in relation to education described. It wasevident that the chosen theories suggested different definitions oftranslation strategies with regard to their unique perspectives.Moreover, the paper focused on the aspects of both theories and theirrelevance to the audience and behavior.


Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., &amp Lewis, F. M. (2002). Healthbehavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Higgs, J. (2012). Practice-based education: Perspectives andstrategies. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Realine, B. F.(2009). Nutrition education and change. New York: NovaScience.