Date of Award

5-1996

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Human Ecology

Major Professor

Jean D. Skinner

Committee Members

Jim Moran, Carl Dyer, Mark McGrath

Abstract

Male and female high school students participated in an intervention designed to promote behavior change in food selection. The students were divided in two groups. Group I received the point-of-purchase cafeteria-based nutrition education program, and Group II received the point-of-purchase cafeteria based nutrition program plus a brief classroom nutrition education intervention. Evaluation instruments included pre-test, post-test 1, and post-test 2 written questionnaires, which included food practices, nutrition knowledge, attitudes and their perceptions about the school food service and the point-of-purchase intervention.

For behavior change, there was a significant Time Effect for females Group II with a significant decrease in both fat and vitamin C. Both genders in Group II had a significant decrease in energy intake. Males in Group II had a significant decrease in their fat intake and intakes of calcium and vitamin D.

The results of the comparison of the subjects' mean nutrient intakes at lunch intakes showed that energy for both males and females was below one-third of the RDA, the standard for the National School Lunch Program. For calcium and iron males met one-third of the RDA, while females did not. For vitamins A and C, both genders were above the standard while for vitamin D, both genders were below the RDA. Both genders were above the ≤30% guideline for proportion of energy from fat; 34% and 31% for males and females, respectively.

For nutrition knowledge, there was no significant difference for Time Effect or for Group Effect for either gender. For nutrition attitudes, there was a significant decrease in positive nutrition attitudes only for males Group II. For Group Effect, no significant difference was found.

The frequency of selection for certain targeted foods showed that for Group I there was a significant increase in their selection of fresh fruit. And for females in Group II, there was a significant increase in their selection of low fat milks.

"Expected taste" was the reason the students gave for choosing the foods they did on the designated days. Three-fourths of the students states that the Best Choice signs near the serving line "were a good idea". Recommendation for greater changes in behavior, knowledge, and attitudes include a longer, more focused classroom nutrition education component and cafeteria serving styles which allow students more choices, especially among vegetables.

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