Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Advisor

Condrasky, Margaret

Committee Member

Fraser , Angela

Committee Member

Williams , Joel

Abstract

The primary objective of this study is to provide evidence that a culinary nutrition intervention is appropriate for, and of value to college students. A secondary objective is to provide evidence that the nutrition component of a culinary nutrition course can be delivered online through an interactive presentation. The study initially involved a review of literature highlighting the nutrition habits of college students, the strengths and weakness of existing cooking and nutrition classes, and other factors relating to the college student's health. Based on this literature review it was determined that a culinary nutrition course is an appropriate way to introduce nutrition knowledge and cooking principles to facilitate healthy eating among college students.
This intervention was delivered to four groups, and from those four groups the students participated in one of two interventions. The first intervention group (n=37) received the 'traditional' culinary nutrition program, called Cooking with a Chef, delivered in person by a chef and nutrition educator. The second intervention group (n=33) received a 'modified' Cooking with a Chef intervention delivered by a chef with the nutrition component delivered online. Two surveys were administered to assess the program. The first survey was delivered as a pre- and post-test, while the second survey, a delayed post survey, was given once, six weeks after the intervention was completed.
From the comparison of the pre- and post-survey, both intervention groups significantly scored higher on the scales for Cooking Self-Efficacy (p=0.041), Cooking Techniques Self-Efficacy (p=0.012), Self-Efficacy for Fruits, Vegetables, and Seasonings (p=0.002), Knowledge of Cooking Terms and Techniques (p<0.001). For the delayed post survey, the two intervention groups scored significantly higher in three questions regarding nutrition knowledge.
This study demonstrates the benefit of using a culinary nutrition program with college students. Issues concerning the college student's diet were identified in the review of literature. While intervention groups did not score significantly higher on all scales compared to the control, they did score higher on the self-efficacy scales. Additional testing and modification could be performed to teach a culinary nutrition course specifically geared to college aged students.

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