Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Home Economics

First Advisor

Elizabeth Ann Pond


According to Guthrie, nutrition professionals are especially concerned about the food habits of adolescents. Dietary inadequacies are higher during adolescence than at any other stage of the life cycle. Deficiencies in this age range can have fat reaching effects, especially for females. Female adolescent nutritive needs are surpassed only by those during pregnancy and lactation. The adolescent who becomes pregnant before growth is complete is of particular concern. If nutritive intake is inadequate before conception the adolescent and her unborn child are at high risk. Another nutritionally related concern in adolescence is the increased incidence of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (self-imposed starvation) and bulimia (binge-purge syndrome), especially among adolescent girls. These illnesses involve obsessive fear of weight gain and can have serious health consequences, even death. Education appears to have little impact on changing adolescent’s food habits. The effects of long term malnutrition on health is of little concern to the adolescent. Motivation appears to be the important factor for change in eating habits. Wenck et al. continue by stating that the highest time of motivation for learning about nutrition is not when one is young and living at home, but rather when faced with the actual problem of providing food for oneself or one’s family. Many studies have been done on nutritive intake and dietary practices of younger adolescents in junior and senior high schools. There is less information available on older adolescents, particularly concerning nutrition education. Is it possible that a group of older adolescents, college students, would be motivated to learn about ·nutrition and to apply this knowledge to their own eating habits more than the younger adolescents? Most college students are away from home for the first time and are completely responsible for their food choices. College students are usually more mature and may be less influenced by their peer group than younger adolescents. Would a career interest in home economics, a professional field encompassing the subject area of nutrition, affect food choices and nutrient intake of college students? The relationship seems logical and some of Alexander's findings give support to this contention. Alexander found that college home economics students who had nutrition in their curriculum scored significantly higher than non-home economics students on a nutrition knowledge test. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of nutrition education on the dietary intake of college students. Specific questions to be answered were: 1) What is the dietary intake of college students? 2) Does nutrition education intervention have an effect on dietary intake of college students? 3) Does change in dietary intake relate to background characteristics of college students?

Library of Congress Subject Headings

College students -- Nutrition
Nutrition -- Education



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State