Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Melinda Valliant

Relational Format



Poor dietary behavior can lead to various chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and obesity. Because dietary intake takes time to impact health, observing diet knowledge in college students can be beneficial. This study sought to measure whether greater nutritional knowledge would translate to a healthier dietary intake. Nutritional knowledge and behavior were measured and then compared in 257 students in two different undergraduate classes - an introductory nutrition course and a standard biology course - which was the control group. Each class was given the same survey at the beginning and end of the fall semester. Results indicated that the knowledge of the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake, per the USDA, did not improve throughout the semester. There was no significant change in nutrition students that consumed vegetables daily, however the number of students that consumed fruit daily increased by 5%. Knowledge regarding saturated fats increased by 15%. The nutrition students decreased their saturated fat consumption by 1g, which placed their saturated fat intake at 10.2 g per day. Nutrition education had a positive impact on nutritional knowledge and did translate to the students’ diets in some aspects of nutrition, but not all of them. This indicates that nutritional knowledge is an effective way to improve dietary behavior, however knowledge is not always the only factor that will change behavior.



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