Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Condrasky, Margaret

Committee Member

Kunkel , Mary E

Committee Member

Sharp , Julia


This study was designed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of collegiate freshmen regarding nutrition principles and nutritional guidelines. Participants in this study were 73 first semester students at Clemson University. A questionnaire on nutrition knowledge and attitudes was distributed during the fall semester of 2010. The participants self-reported both height and weight.
The mean score on the knowledge questions was 12.25 points (SD= 2.73), or 49% correct responses. The mean score of the attitude questions was 5.92 points (SD= 1.50), or 65.7% correct responses. There was no significant difference in averages in knowledge and attitudes by gender, (P= .138) and (P= .103). There was no significant difference in the knowledge scores between BMI categories (P= .844). There was a significant difference between the attitude scores of the normal and the overweight/obese BMI categories (P< 0.0001), the underweight and the overweight/obese BMI categories (P< 0.0001), and the normal and underweight BMI categories (P= 0.0001).
In line with a study published at Clemson University that assessed athlete nutrition knowledge and attitudes, the findings indicate the participants are not knowledgeable regarding recommended nutritional guidelines and general nutrition principles (Dunnigan, 2010). Future research should look at a larger sample size of college freshmen using instruments that include additional items on dietary choices to further define the role of nutrition education on knowledge and attitudes and strengthen the support for nutrition intervention strategies.

Included in

Nutrition Commons



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