Home Doctor NewsDietetics News Education with goal-oriented activities increases pupils to choose fruits and vegetables: Study

Education with goal-oriented activities increases pupils to choose fruits and vegetables: Study

by Pragati Singh

Fast food and restaurant meals are associated with a rise in adult obesity; this unhealthy eating habit is commonly acquired during the critical era of early adulthood. Weekly food challenges and culinary demonstration films, according to one research, made college students feel more confident about choosing healthy food choices and eating more fruits and vegetables.

The study’s findings were published in the ‘Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.’ College students make up a sizable proportion of the young adult population, and national data indicate that their diets are high in total fat and deficient in critical food categories such as low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and deep yellow and green vegetables.

According to Carol O’Neal, PhD, Department of Health and Sports Science, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA, “barriers to healthy eating for this population include a lack of nutrition and culinary expertise, financial instability, insufficient access to good food alternatives, and time.”

Education and Nutrition

Traditional collegiate nutrition programmes often place an emphasis on information development and nutrition assessment abilities. Traditional nutrition classes, according to studies, boosted nutrition knowledge but did not affect eating behaviour. According to research, knowledge and nutrition assessment skills should be combined with behavioural self-efficacy to motivate lifestyle changes.

“Because of their emphasis on self-efficacy and behavior-oriented programming aspects, nutrition education programmes built in Social Cognitive Theory are particularly effective in modifying dietary behaviour,” stated Dr. O’Neal.

The pilot study looked at a 15-week intervention that incorporated food challenges and instructional cooking videos into a nutrition course and resulted in improvements in cooking attitudes, cooking and nutrition self-efficacy, and fruit and vegetable consumption outcomes among college students. Enrollment in the course included both in-person and online students who were taught by the same instructor.

Students took part in at-home eating challenges according to each week’s teaching theme. Instead of self-set objectives, guided goal setting was utilised as a pedagogical technique to enhance course learning outcomes and teach students how to transform general aims into specific and quantifiable goals. Students documented their progress through weekly reflections.

The intervention was related with greater confidence in utilising fruits and vegetables in cooking and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables when surveys were completed at the beginning and end of the semester. Cuisine views remained favourable throughout the trial, suggesting that students enrolling in a college nutrition course are already interested in healthy cooking.

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“The study’s conclusion, which combined in-person and online learning, showed the potential to successfully engage with students enrolled in an online course and has critical implications for nutrition educators,” Dr. O’Neal said.

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