ERIC Number: EJ1124555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Dietary Change Interventions for Undergraduate Populations: Systematic Review and Recommendations
Pember, Sarah E.; Knowlden, Adam P.
American Journal of Health Education, v48 n1 p48-57 2017
Background: Research demonstrates a decline in healthy eating behaviors during transitional years at university, potentially leading to weight gain and establishing maladaptive dietary habits. Purpose: This systematic review assessed the efficacy of previous nutrition interventions for undergraduates, evaluating design and implementation. Methods: Boolean phrases searched were "nutrition OR healthy eating," "undergraduate*," "pilot study OR intervention*," and "college OR university." Articles were included if they were peer-reviewed, published in the last 10 years, and described complete interventions targeting undergraduates that included dietary behavior change, or the intention for change, as an outcome. Results: Of the 10 programs examined, only 4 showed significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption, 1 showed an increase in fruit purchase, and 1 resulted in an increase in fruit consumption. The majority of interventions (n = 7) simultaneously targeted other health behaviors, and only one addressed environmental changes. Methodology was varied and inconsistent. Discussion: Limited success in undergraduate nutrition interventions may be the result of targeting multiple behaviors and a lack of evidence and theory-based design. Translation to Health Education Practice: Theory-based studies exclusively focused on dietary behaviors are needed that address social norms, upperclassmen and nonresidential students, environmental supports, feedback, goal setting, and measures aside from fruit and vegetable consumption.
Descriptors: Dietetics, Behavior Change, Eating Habits, Food, Intervention, Undergraduate Students, Health Promotion, Health Behavior, Nutrition, Search Strategies, Pilot Projects, Journal Articles, Student Attitudes, Health Education, Literature Reviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A