Semester of Graduation

Summer 2020

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This study evaluated the initial influence of the Small Changes, Healthy Habits (SCHH) pilot program on food/eating, and physical activity behaviors and habits among participants. A convenience sample of 56 adults (≥18 years old) with representation from communities in all five LSU AgCenter regions, was recruited for the program. Complete datasets from 47 participants were collected and used for the evaluation. The participant group was 83% female (n = 39), 89% 51 years or older, and living in rural areas; approximately 83% white (n=38), 13% African American (n=6), and 2% Asian (n=1). A 22-question participant survey was developed to quantify changes in foods/healthy eating or physical activity behaviors. A Habit Assessment tool was adapted for testing as a means of monitoring the development or strength of healthy eating and physical activity habits. The participant evaluation was developed as a pre-, post-, and 6-month follow-up survey design, to track the changes in healthy behaviors and progress in selected habit formation goals over three time points. The results indicated increased daily consumption of fruits, dark green vegetables and water, with decreased daily consumption of soda. Participants reported increased attention to fat (p=0.032) and salt (p=0.01) intake, and increased confidence in preparing healthy foods at home (p=0.04). The frequency of meals eaten outside the home decreased (Improvement Index=0.27) and the reading of nutrition facts labels increased among 32% of participants, shifting from “Rarely” or “Never” reading the label to “Most of the time.” Among participants, time spent being physically active increased by 11.1 min/day; time spent sitting decreased (p

Committee Chair

Gollub, Elizabeth A

Available for download on Friday, June 16, 2023

Included in

Nutrition Commons

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