Date of Award


Document Type



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Saigeetha Sangiah

Second Advisor

Darlington C. Mundende

Third Advisor

Zola J. Drain


The process of nutritional assessment has long been used to identify specific nutritional problems that demand attention and correction. The major health problems in the United States and much of the industrialized world have nutrition at their root. The ten leading causes of death in the United States are in some way related to the lack of adequate knowledge, adequate nutrition, or both. Increasingly young people are experiencing obesity, high blood pressure, and high serum cholesterol. These conditions pose problems in nutrition and healthy lifestyles in general. Given that behavior is related positively to knowledge, good nutrition and medical knowledge should have a positive effect upon eating habits. Studies show that if an individual is educated as to what is harmful, he or she usually demonstrates behavior changes to avoid possible negative effects. The general understanding, then, is that if an individual knows better, the individual will do better. The problem associated with the gathering of information by using surveys is that the surveys are not ordinarily specific relative to specialized areas of the general population. Surveys on nutritional knowledge and eating and exercise habits of the general population abound; however, such surveys do not often take college students into account. College students are a large specialized populace. They account substantially for economic and political surveys which influence consumer spending and voting. Why not for health improvement. One concern is that this segment of the populace, 18 to 25 years of age, generally suffers from gross misinformation about the importance of nutrition and exercise. More complex problems on which this study focuses include how the correcting of nutritionally oriented chronic diseases relate to the time used to correct lifestyle habits and how orienting peer groups impacts on the practice of healthier lifestyles. The longer such educational processes take, the worse the health situation grows for this age group. That there are few indepth studies on college students assessing their lifestyle relative to nutritional knowledge, eating, and exercise habits generally makes the need for such studies all the more 3 important.