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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

College students educated about diet and physical activity while learning to navigate USDA's MyPyramid.gov site

Jen Nickelson, MS, RD, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, 813-971-2119 ext 104, NickelsonJen@aol.com

Background: MyPyramid.gov was released in April 2005 as the first overhaul of the US government's food guidance system since 1992. Teaching the purpose and content of an on-line public health education program may require a creative approach. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore how easily the MyPyramid website could be navigated by college students in an Introduction to Public Health course after being provided with a 40-minute on-line review of the website. Methods: Participants were 40 students in an Introduction to Public Health course during the fall 2005 semester. Students met in the computer lab where each had access to a desktop computer. The MyPyramid.gov site was projected from the instructor's computer onto the screen to facilitate learning. Forty minutes were spent reviewing the website. During the final 35 minutes of class, students completed worksheets designed to guide them through the site. Many students were able to complete the exercises in class. One week later, 18 students participated in a voluntary survey to determine how easy the site was to navigate and lessons learned. Results: Results suggest that these students found MyPyramid.gov relatively easy to use. Most of them stated they learned something valuable about their diet, and others indicated they learned something important about their physical activity levels. Conclusions: MyPyramid.gov can easily be taught with an active learning approach in a computer lab setting to undergraduate college students. While learning to navigate the site, students consequently learned valuable lessons about their diet and physical activity levels.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Health Education Strategies, Nutrition

Related Web page: www.mypyramid.gov

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

APHA Student Assembly Late Breaker Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA