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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Evaluation of effectiveness of class-based nutrition intervention on changes in soft drink and milk consumption among young adults

Eun-Jeong Ha1*, Natalie Caine-Bish1, Christopher Holloman2 and Karen Lowry-Gordon1

Author affiliations

1 Family and Consumer Studies, Kent State University, 100 Nixson Hall, Kent, OH 44242, USA

2 Department of Statistics, the Ohio State University, 1958 Neil Ave, Columbus, Oh 43210, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:50  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-50

Published: 26 October 2009

Abstract

Background

During last few decades, soft drink consumption has steadily increased while milk intake has decreased. Excess consumption of soft drinks and low milk intake may pose risks of several diseases such as dental caries, obesity, and osteoporosis. Although beverage consumption habits form during young adulthood, which has a strong impact on beverage choices in later life, nutrition education programs on beverages are scarce in this population. The purpose of this investigation was 1) to assess soft drink and milk consumption and 2) to evaluate the effectiveness of 15-week class-based nutrition intervention in changing beverage choices among college students.

Methods

A total of 80 college students aged 18 to 24 years who were enrolled in basic nutrition class participated in the study. Three-day dietary records were collected, verified, and analyzed before and after the intervention. Class lectures focused on healthful dietary choices related to prevention of chronic diseases and were combined with interactive hands on activities and dietary feedback.

Results

Class-based nutrition intervention combining traditional lecture and interactive activities was successful in decreasing soft drink consumption. Total milk consumption, specifically fat free milk, increased in females and male students changed milk choice favoring skim milk over low fat milk. (1% and 2%).

Conclusion

Class-based nutrition education focusing on prevention of chronic diseases can be an effective strategy in improving both male and female college students' beverage choices. Using this type of intervention in a general nutrition course may be an effective approach to motivate changes in eating behaviors in a college setting.