Perceived Availability and Attitudes Towards Healthy Eating Among College Students
|Institution:||Central Connecticut State University|
|Keywords:||Food preferences.; Nutrition.; College students.|
|Full text PDF:||http://content.library.ccsu.edu/u?/ccsutheses,2298|
The purpose of this research is to examine gender, ethnicity, and place of residence as potential predictors of the perceived availability and attitudes of healthy eating among college students. It is important to study eating habits in college students especially for those who are transitioning to a more independent lifestyle shortly after leaving a parents home. These young adults who become more independent and autonomous may not have the acquired skills or resources needed for living on their own (Brunt & Rhee, 2007). With society increasing in ethnic diversity, it is crucial to understand ethnic differences and how they can influence college students' perceived availability and attitudes towards healthy eating (Freedman, 2010). This study proposed six different hypothesis: (1) It was predicted that students who live off campus living independently or living with their family would have more positive attitudes towards healthy eating than students who lived on campus, (2) those students who lived off campus living independently or living with their family would also perceive more availability of healthy eating than students who lived on campus, (3) Caucasian students would have more positive attitudes towards healthy eating than non-Caucasian students, (4) female students would have more positive attitudes towards healthy eating compared to male students, (5) positive attitudes toward healthy eating would predict positive eating behaviors, and (6) there would be a positive correlation between parents' and significant others' attitudes towards healthful eating and participants attitudes towards healthy eating. In addition to these hypotheses, this study attempted to explore possible interaction effects between gender and ethnicity on eating attitudes and eating behaviors, but none were found. A total of 276 college students from various Connecticut universities took a 40-minute online questionnaire that derived from the original Project EAT-II survey. Major findings from this study concluded that there were residency differences, those students who reported living off campus independently had greater positive attitudes towards healthy eating than from those students who reported living on campus. Moreover, another major finding was that positive eating attitudes did predict eating behaviors. Recommendations for future research in psychological research would be to assess the longitudinal effects of perceived availability and attitudes towards healthy eating among college students since it has been found that college years are very much influential years for individuals as their dietary habits may often change (Freedman, 2010). It will also be beneficial for future research to focus on the mechanisms that impact positive attitudes to predict positive eating behaviors. 'Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Health Psychology.'; Thesis advisor: Joanne DiPlacido.; M.A.,Central Connecticut State University,,2016.; Advisors/Committee Members: DiPlacido, Joanne.