Major

Dietetics - Coordinated Program

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Abstract

Title: Measuring Nutrition Literacy Among Participants Enrolled in a Weight Management and Chronic Disease Prevention Program

Purpose: Type II diabetes, hypertension, and overweight/obesity are three of the most common diet-related health conditions and are closely linked to negative health outcomes. Limited nutrition knowledge is associated with inadequate preventative care and poor diet quality, which may exacerbate the development of these conditions. Research suggests that targeted nutrition education increases nutrition literacy and thus is an important component of diet-related chronic disease prevention programs. Despite its importance, nutrition literacy tools are not widely available and/or routinely used in practice. Program/Participants: A total of seven 15-20-minute focused nutrition classes were incorporated into an existing wellness program offered through the Summa Health Equity Center. Pre and post-program measures of nutrition literacy were conducted using the Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument, a newly developed tool, to assess feasibility of use and changes in nutrition knowledge. Evaluation: Participants started with a high nutrition literacy score (88%), which changed little over the course of programming. Through incorporating this tool, a number of limitations were noted that suggest this tool may not be appropriate for this population. Additional research would be beneficial to further refine the tool and to develop methods of assessing nutrition literacy for use among audiences of varying pre-existing knowledge.

Research Sponsor

Christin L. Seher, PhD, RDN, LD

First Reader

Kathy Schupp, MA, RD, LD

Second Reader

Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

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