Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Identification of misconceptions of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat ) and awareness of ailments linked to micronutrients (potassium, fiber, Vitamin D. and food label use) based on certain demographics are vital to improving and developing long term health benefits, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, and decreasing healthcare cost associated with poor dietary lifestyles among non-major general biology college students at a historically black college and university located in the southern part of the United States. Misconception Identification (all groups) was determined using the pretest and posttest Nutrition Knowledge Test via Qualtrics that included two and three tiered question format with the Certainty of Response Index, a ten question item analysis on a regular examination and the final examination or as a separate quiz, and the final grade. The five groups were subdivided into three treatment groups that received the nutrition probes and exit tickets via Qualtrics and two control groups that received no intervention. The pretest and posttest rates of “no knowledge” among those in the treatment and control sections were high for potassium, fiber, vitamin D, and food label use model, but it is important to note that pretest and posttest rates reported do not necessarily represent the same students; some may have withdrawn from the study prior to the posttest. The Bonferroni adjustment of the p value for food label use and gender showed a correlation between do not know and prefer not to answer.

Questions 11 and 30 showed higher carbohydrate misconceptions for both the control and experimental groups. The protein misconceptions in the experimental group pre-test were questions 21(12%), 36 (9%), and 13 (9%), while the post-test group showed questions 21(18%), 32 (16%), 36 (16%), 17 (13%), and 38 (13%) as stemming from misconceptions about protein. The frequency of fat misconceptions displayed in question 40 increased in both the control and experimental groups from pre-test to post-test.

The McNemar Test showed that there is statistically significant difference in post-intervention for protein misconception in the treatment groups.

This research contributes to limited research addressing misconceptions in biology and the relationship to college student’s poor dietary lifestyles.



Committee Chair

Blanchard, Pam

Available for download on Thursday, April 03, 2025