Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science


Cason, Katherine

Committee Member

Kunkel , Mary

Committee Member

Parker , Veronica


The severity of the obesity epidemic has increased the necessity for nutrition education programs. These programs must be culturally and age appropriate in order to be more effective in bringing about positive behavior changes in the target populations.
This study examined the effectiveness and acceptability of the Jump into Foods and Fitness (JIFF) and Quest for Health nutrition education programs within a pre-adolescent African-American population. Two classes from the Boys and Girls Club of Sumter, S.C. were randomly assigned to one of the nutrition education programs. Class one was assigned to the JIFF curriculum, and included 23 participants. Class two was assigned to Quest for Health, and included 16 participants. Each class received three lessons from its assigned curriculum. The three lessons discussed 1) My Pyramid, 2) Importance of Physical Activity, and 3) Nutrition Facts Labels. Before and after the three lessons, the participants completed the evaluation survey tools for their curriculum. At the conclusion of the post-surveys, each class participated in its own focus group session. SPSS statistical software was used to compare pre- and post-survey results for both curricula, and the focus group responses were transcribed and grouped by themes.
The results indicate that both programs led to positive changes in the physical activity behavior, nutritional knowledge, and nutrition behavior of the participants. Neither program held a statistically significant advantage over the other program. Focus group responses indicated that participants from both groups believed their curriculum was age and culturally appropriate for their population. The games and physical activities were found to be great enhancements in both programs. Nutrition education programs such as JIFF and Quest for Health can be an integral component in efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity.

Included in

Nutrition Commons