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The Obesity Food Insecurity Paradox: Student Focus Group Feedback to Guide Development of Innovative Curriculum

      Objective: Development of higher education coursework and programming related to the obesity food insecurity paradox to prepare graduates for work in healthcare professions.
      Target Audience: Administrators, faculty, students, and community partners.
      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale: Innovative curriculum and programming on the topic of the obesity and food insecurity paradox are timely and important given that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight or obese and 1 in 6 are food insecure. Future health professionals will be better equipped for professional practice when provided with learner-centered classroom and experiential learning opportunities.
      Description of Course and Curriculum: Through a collaboration with the University of Kentucky Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), faculty in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition (DHN) have undertaken course and curriculum development based on student focus group feedback. Three learner-centered, innovative, and experiential-learning based courses examining the obesity food insecurity paradox have been developed or are in the development phase. One such course is a practicum experience whereby students shadow a health professional at a medically-supervised obesity clinic and develop related educational materials.
      Evaluation: Curriculum development was based on feedback from three focus groups comprised of students (n = 12) in DHN. A thematic analysis of the focus group transcriptions revealed that, in general, the students perceived the idea of incorporating experiential learning (EL) opportunities into new coursework favorably. Students most frequently operationalized EL as a job shadowing experience and indicated a preference for the shadowing to be embedded as part of a course requirement. With this feedback, seven students to date have enrolled in a trial-run of the EL course and three additional students are being recruited to participate during the Fall 2018 semester.
      Conclusions and Implications: Student focus group feedback has guided the development of innovative and timely coursework related to the obesity and food insecurity paradox. The newly developed coursework will be evaluated, modified as needed, and shared with other colleges and universities.
      Funding: NIFA.

      Supplementary Data

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