Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Human Resource Education and Workforce Development
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the 4-H Foods and Nutrition project in Louisiana. The Foods and Nutrition project traditionally enrolls about one-fourth of the total membership. A second purpose of the study was to identify personal and household demographic characteristics that may influence dietary practices and food consumption patterns. Telephone interviews were conducted by extension home economists with a random sample of 277 4-H Foods and Nutrition project members ages 14-19 and 278 non-4-H members. The 4-H Foods and Nutrition program appears to be making a positive impact on 4-H project members' dietary practices and food consumption patterns. Summated mean scores of items measuring each were significantly higher for 4-H project members than for non-4-H youth. The greatest impact on dietary practices measured appears to be in the areas of planning and preparing meals and grocery shopping. Also showing impact are those areas concerned with eating a variety of foods and helping families cut down on fat and salt. 4-H'ers appear to consume more foods high in vitamins A and C and less foods high in fat, sugar and salt than do non-4-H'ers. Models of demographic variables were shown to exist that explained significant portions of the variance in dietary practice scores for 4-H project members and for non-4-H members. For 4-H'ers the model explained 11.4 percent of the variance, with "study of nutrition in school" and "number in household" being significant contributors to the model. The non-4-H model explained 8.8 percent of the variance, with "age" and "number in household" being significant contributors. A significant model explained 8.2 percent of the variance in food consumption scores of 4-H youth, with "weight" and "study of nutrition in school" being significant contributors. No significant model was shown to exist for the non-4-H youth. Recommendations included expansion of program efforts to reach greater numbers of both 4-H and non-4-H youth. In addition, further research was suggested to investigate methods which would motivate long-term behavior adoption and to investigate models which would explain a greater proportion of the variance in dietary practices and food consumption patterns.
Seals, Saralene Brandon, "The Effectiveness of the Food and Nutrition 4-H Project in Improving Dietary Practices and Food Consumption Patterns of High School Students in Louisiana." (1989). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 4877.