Dietetics students receive DASH-diet education as part of their medical nutrition therapy (MNT) curriculum. The ability for students to translate that knowledge into practice is currently unknown. There is evidence supporting that culinary nutrition education integrated into coursework has shown a positive association with nutrition knowledge and self-efficacy in students, adults, and health professionals. However, there is limited research showing the impact of culinary nutrition education on dietetics students.
To determine the impact of a combined lecture and DASH-diet culinary module for undergraduate dietetics students on knowledge and self-efficacy in making culinary-related recipe adaptations.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
This is a quasi-experimental pre-, post-study design. Using a non-probability and purposive sampling technique, students were recruited from a MNT class at San José State University (SJSU) and were randomly assigned to control (n = 12) and intervention (n = 13) group. All students received a DASH-diet lecture while only the intervention group received a culinary module following the lecture.
Data collection involved a questionnaire administered pre- and post-intervention and during a 1-month follow-up. Data analysis included descriptive statistics reported as means compared between and within groups using SPSS version 25.
There was a statistically significant improvement in identifying maximum amount of sodium in post (P = .009) and ingredient substitutions in pre (P = .12) and post (P = .008) between control and intervention group. There was a statistically significant improvement in identifying sodium-containing ingredients (P = .046) and ingredient substitution (P < .00) within the intervention group.
This pilot study shows culinary nutrition education has the potential to positively impact dietetics students’ knowledge on the DASH diet. Future programs should incorporate longer modules with additional opportunities to engage in hands-on practice and promote knowledge retention.