Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Food Technology


Cason, Katherine L.

Committee Member

Dawson, Paul

Committee Member

Martinez-Dawson, Rose

Committee Member

Visser, Ryan


African American women have been disproportionately impacted for decades by the obesity epidemic, which frequently leads to severe chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. This increase in chronic diseases amongst African American women is the motivation for the design of a culturally tailored nutrition education (NE) program that combines a strong theoretical base with the use of technology such as the Internet, since its usage within the college aged African American community has rapidly increased. Little is known about the variables that motivate behavior change in regards to eating and physical activity habits among college aged African American women. The Online Nutrition Education for Sisters (ONES) program is a culturally tailored web-based nutrition education intervention for college aged African American women. Its theoretical framework includes health promotion constructs from the Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Determination Theory merged with instructional design principles from Cognitive Load Theory and Multimedia Learning. This one of a kind design can serve as a blueprint for other web-based nutrition education programs targeting minority populations with higher risk of overweight and obesity. Results from the 6-week pilot testing of ONES demonstrated that the intervention was well accepted and helped improve college aged African American women’s intention to change their eating related behaviors in the short-term; with participant satisfaction rates and motivation rates post intervention above 94%. Future research should explore the long-term effects of the ONES program to better determine how technology can be incorporated into nutrition education programs to enhance behavior change outcomes.

Included in

Nutrition Commons