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Utilizing the ASA24 in College Students to Compare Food Intake with Perceptions of Healthy Eating and Nutrition Knowledge

Theresa E. Price The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

Table 2
Demographic characteristics of sample

Age Frequency 18 19 20 21 4 3 11 6 7 5 3 Percent 8.9 6.7 24.4 13.3 15.6 11.1 6.7

o Poor nutrition intake is a risk factor for many diseases related to obesity and many college age adults are obese. College freshmen are at a critical period for weight gain. (Burger, Kern & Coleman, 2007; Frankenfeld, Poudrier, Waters, Gillevet, & Xu, 2012; Franko et al., 2008; Ha & Caine-Bish, 2009; Kocken et al., 2012; Kolodinsky, Harvey-Berino, Berlin, Johnson & Reynolds, 2007). Perceptions matter because they are the building blocks to beliefs which determine actions (Burger et al., 2007; Ferguson & Bargh, 2004; Lake et al., 2007). The use of 24-hour recalls have been shown to provide less bias, present better dietary recalls, are easier for participants to do, which makes for a higher preference for use (Subar et al., 2012).
Table 1


Correlations between Students intake, knowledge, and perceptions Kcal Students Knowledge Previous nutrition education Students Perceptions Important to control portion sizes -.460

Total Fat

Carbohydra te


22 23





24 Living on Campus Yes

15 30

33.3 66.7






No Meal Plan Yes No Gender Male Female Race White Black

o o Correlational and descriptive study design with a nonprobability convenience sample. Nutrition knowledge and nutrition perceptions were measured with an original survey with true/false questions and likert scales. Actual 24-hour dietary intake was collected with a web-based automated self-reported 24-hour recall (ASA24). All statistical analyses performed using SPSS software, version 20
For additional information please contact: Theresa E. Price The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406;

Over half (64.4%) of participants stated they were familiar with the current American Dietary Guidelines, while 75.1% of participants reported the Dietary Guidelines were personally very important, important, or somewhat important to follow, and more than half of participants answered the knowledge questions correctly. Reported healthy eating patterns were significantly positively associated with self-rated health status (r=.422, p=.004) and familiarity with the Dietary Guidelines was significantly related to previous nutrition education (r=.402, p=.006).

19 26

42.2 57.8

9 30

20.0 80.0

33 10 Mean

73.3 22.2 SD

o College age adults who had previous nutrition education and nutrition courses had higher nutrition knowledge. Those who were more familiar with the Dietary Guidelines answered the knowledge questions correctly. The more nutrition knowledge the participants had, increased the importance of personally following the Dietary Guidelines and positively affected their eating patterns in overall calories, protein, and total fat, as indicated by the data analysis. Dietetic professionals should take the evidence provided from this study into account when creating nutrition education and intervention materials for this population.
Height Feet Inches Weight Calories Protein Fat Carbohydrate

5 5 146.9 1673.4 68.2 66.1 201.9

.6 2.9 36.2 881.9 44.7 40.6 109.7