The objective of the Food Voyage program was to increase international students’ self-efficacy for purchasing and preparing healthier versions of American foods.
Thirty international students or spouses of international students participated.
Theory, Prior Research, Rationale
International students face unique nutrition issues as they may be unfamiliar with American dietary practices and often make dietary changes after relocating. These changes could result in increased risk for chronic disease if students adopt common western dietary patterns, which are often high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables. Few, if any, nutrition education programs have been developed for international students. The Food Voyage program was a Social Cognitive Theory based cooking class series designed for international students.
The program consisted of four interactive cooking classes in which students learned how to prepare healthier versions of American foods. Participants were given opportunities to ask questions and try new foods.
Each session included pre-and post-class self-efficacy questionnaires. Participants also completed a 6-month follow-up questionnaire. Over 70% of participants reported using the recipes learned through the program at home. Self-efficacy for purchasing and preparing healthier versions of American foods increased from pre-class to post-class for three of four classes and from pre-class to the six-month follow-up for all four classes.
Conclusions and Implications
International students’ self-efficacy for purchasing and preparing healthier versions of American foods increased during the Food Voyage program. This suggests that a cooking class format is an effective vehicle for nutrition education amongst this population. Although this program was moderately successful, it was short and limited in scope.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.