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P39 Using Food Challenges and Cooking Videos in a College Nutrition Course to Improve Students' Self-Efficacy and Eating Habits

      Background

      Theory-based nutrition education programs utilizing the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) have been effective in changing behavior. SCT consists of several core constructs including self-efficacy, outcome-expectations, goal setting, self-regulation and social support. Interventions using a blend of goal setting and self-monitoring have been shown to be effective in changing dietary behaviors of college students.

      Objective

      Evaluation of adding weekly food challenges (initiating goal setting and self-monitoring) and cooking videos in a college nutrition course on student behaviors and self-efficacy in cooking and eating healthy food.

      Study Design, Setting and Participants

      A pre- and post-intervention model was used. College students (n = 141) registered in a Human Nutrition course participated in weekly food challenges to translate nutrition knowledge into behavior change. A guided goal setting strategy was used to implement the food challenges. Each challenge (major goal) was coupled with 10-15 minor goals based on the topic of the week. Students independently selected 2 of the minor goal options to implement, and wrote a reflection about their experiences. To encourage home cooking, minor cooking goals and cooking videos that focused on food preparation skills were included with each challenge. A cooking challenge encouraged students to practice their cooking skills.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Data from pre- and post-intervention surveys was used to assess changes in cooking attitudes, cooking and eating behaviors, and cooking self-efficacy. Data was evaluated using descriptive statistics and paired sample t tests.

      Results

      Analyses showed significant increases in fruit consumption (P < 0.001), vegetable consumption (P < 0.001), produce consumption self-efficacy (P < 0.004), cooking self-efficacy (P < 0.005), and using fruit/vegetables and seasonings self-efficacy (P < 0.001).

      Conclusion

      A goal setting strategy coupled with online cooking videos is an effective and cost efficient intervention for increasing cooking self-efficacy and the consumption of fruits and vegetables of college students.
      Funding None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data