Thesis

Developing a nutrition education website to increase nutrition knowledge and improve dietary behaviors among California State University, Northridge students

Prior research indicates that college students have a lack of knowledge regarding proper nutrition and have been shown to have undesirable nutrition behaviors (Kolodinsky, Harvey-Berino, Berlin, Johnson, & Reynolds, 2007). However, consuming a diet that meets college students' nutritional needs, among other factors, plays a significant role in optimizing academic and athletic performance and reducing risk of chronic disease (Brunt & Rhee, 2008; Racette, Deusinger, Strube, Highstein, & Deusinger, 2005). Furthermore, educating college students about nutrition has been shown to improve dietary behaviors (Kolodinsky et al., 2007). Therefore, the current graduate project aimed to develop a personalized nutrition education website for California State University, Northridge (CSUN) students. The content of the website targeted three distinct student groups, including 1) students under stress, 2) student athletes, 3) students with children. Members of each group completed a survey inquiring about their specific nutritional interests and needs. Results of the surveys indicated that most respondents from all three groups use the Internet for nutrition education, are interested in increasing vegetable intake, and would like to learn more about healthy snacks and eating healthy on a budget.

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