Nutrition Intervention for College Students: Fighting the Obesity EpidemicAAHPERD National Convention 2010 (2010)
AbstractThe obesity epidemic among Americans continues to challenge the health promotion field. The incidence of obesity in the United States has increased from 15% in 1976 to 34% in 2006 (Ogden, 2007). Although there has been numerous studies on overweight and obese individuals during adolescence and adulthood, there is a gap in the research among the college age population. Because the college years are a critical developmental period with positive or negative behaviors being easily influenced, (Hull, 2007), college campuses are an ideal place to integrate obesity prevention programs within academic courses and/or other programming. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of incorporating a nutrition component in a exercise-based curriculum course over a semester. Participants were undergraduate students from a rural college in Southeastern United States. Participants registered for Fitness 4 Life [F4L]class during registration based upon the class description given in the course catalog. The control group was randomly selected from similar a type of physical activity classes, body conditioning. Three F4L classes were chosen with equal classes of a control group. Participant and controls were given a pre-test/post-test that consists of 24 total questions with 8 from each category (dining out, portion size, and reading food labels). Hands-on lessons were given to each class of the experimental groups during the semester. Interventions included trips to local dining places and grocery stores. The nutrition intervention curriculum lasted 15 weeks, with pre- and post- fitness assessments the first and last week. Pre and post-assessments obtained the following information: height, weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate, exercise heart rate (3 minute step test), and body composition using skinfold (Jackson-Pollock). Statistical tests included descriptive statistics (frequencies, means), dependent (paired samples) t-test to assess statistical significance between pre and post fitness assessment, and two-way ANOVA to test between-subjects effects. Alpha levels were set at 0.05, and reports used 95% confidence intervals. Results indicate that a nutrition intervention incorporated into a weight management-based curriculum improved knowledge levels and physical measurements. (p< 0.05). Statistical This study demonstrates that college curricula are a viable source in which the student can positively impact their nutritional knowledge and thus weight management skills. Long term research is needed to see if the nutritional knowledge and improved weight maintenance differences continue to exist between intervention and control group.
Publication DateMarch 18, 2010
Citation InformationThe obesity epidemic among Americans continues to challenge the health promotion field. The incidence of obesity in the United States has increased from 15% in 1976 to 34% in 2006 (Ogden, 2007).