Online Program

Food Literacy Among College Age Students

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Silas Pearman III, DrPH, Department of Health Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC
Tim Levene, BS Candidate, Furman University Department of Health Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC
Carmel Price, PhD, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Univeristy of Michigan -Dearborn, Dearborn, MI
Purpose: This study examined the knowledge of college age students on the local and US food system as very few studies currently exist for this type of data.  Methods: A cross sectional survey study was conducted in a college wellness course (n=766 over 3 years with 58% women and 42% men). The survey was administered prior to the nutrition section of the course and contained easy, moderate and more difficult questions. Data was analyzed using chi square and ANOVA.  Results:  The average composite score was 10.5 out of a maximum of 21 questions (50%).  Only 15% of respondents answered 75% or more of the total survey questions correctly. Students who had higher composite scores were more likely to have visited a farm, come from families with gardens, be more concerned about climate change, or attended a university sponsored sustainability event (p < .01).  Seniors who took the survey scored higher than first and second year students (p < .01).  Women were more likely to answer the difficult questions correctly (p < .05) while men knew more about corn subsidies (p < .01).  Conclusion:  The overall results suggest that college students are not very aware of how and where their food is produced and grown as well as the major issues related to industrialized agricultural systems.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify areas that college students are not literate about local and national food systems. Differentiate between college students who are more knowledgeable about food systems than their peers. Design of surveys for measuring food literacy in adolescent age persons.

Keyword(s): College Students, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a faculty member and researcher at Furman University for 25 years. I have published over a dozen scientific manuscripts and presented research at dozens of professional meetings. I hold a DrPH degree from the University of South Carolina with a specialty in adolescent health behavior.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.