Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Advisor

Dr. Margaret Condrasky

Committee Member

Dr. John McGregor

Committee Member

Dr. Julia Sharp

Abstract

The primary objective of this pilot study is to provide evidence that a budget-tailored culinary nutrition program is both appropriate and applicable to undergraduate food science students both in everyday life as well as their future health careers. Two validated programs were combined into one program in order to evaluate their combined effects: Cooking With a Chef and Cooking Matters at the Store. The secondary objective of this pilot study is to evaluate the components and reliability of a questionnaire created specifically for this pilot study. A review of past literature was written, which included culinary nutrition as a source of primary prevention, the importance of incorporating cost with culinary nutrition, and the importance of incorporating cost with culinary nutrition. Based on the literature review, it was determined that a budget-tailored culinary nutrition program was appropriate and applicable to undergraduate food science students interested in pursuing health-related careers. The pilot study design was a semi-crossover study: all four groups received the program, however, two groups were first treated as the control groups. All fifty-four participants received 5 sessions of culinary nutrition information from Cooking With a Chef, collaboratively delivered by a nutrition educator and a chef, and one session of information about shopping healthy on a budget from Cooking Matters at the Store in the form of a grocery store tour led by the nutrition educator. Three questionnaires were administered to the participants that evaluated culinary nutrition and price knowledge, cooking attitudes, and opinions of the programs' relevance to participants' everyday lives and careers. Two of the questionnaires, including a questionnaire developed specifically for the pilot study, were delivered as a pre- and post-test while the third questionnaire was delivered as a post-test. Eight random participants also partook in a focus group session led by the nutrition educator. Based on statistical results, there were significant differences between the treatment group and control group in Cooking Self-Efficacy (p=0.0024), Self-Efficacy for Using Basic Cooking Techniques (p=<0.0001), Self-Efficacy for Using Fruits, Vegetables, and Seasonings (p=<0.0001), and the ability to use economical methods to purchase low-cost produce and identify different forms of produce (p=<0.0001). For the one-time post-program administered questionnaire, the participants received an average score of 89.44 percent. The reliability procedure performed on the pilot study questionnaire showed that 13 of the 15 items were statistically reliable (p<0.05). The factor analysis procedure performed showed that there were five factors within the pilot study questionnaire. Participant responses from the focus group included how the program was a positive change from other mandatory courses, reaffirmed or increased interest in their major(s) and applied both to their everyday life and future career. This pilot study demonstrates preliminary results of the effects of combining culinary nutrition information with budget and price concepts to deliver to undergraduate food science students. The significance of understanding both culinary nutrition and price is important in order to effectively deliver nutrition counseling to patients of all different demographics. Additional testing and modification could be performed on the curriculum as well as the pilot study questionnaire in order to effectively relate the instrument to the program and increase the instrument's reliability.

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