Needs assessment for weight control nutrition education for female students
Overweight and obesity are known to create serious health risks for women. This study tested the efficacy of a nutrition intervention for college females, and identified perceived barriers to weight control and preferences for weight control education. Forty-nine subjects began the study in the fall; 37 subjects completed the study through the spring term (17 experimental, 20 control). The mean age was 25. Experimental subjects were weighed and counseled by a nutritionist monthly. Baseline and final weight, height, body fat, 24-hour food recall, and 1-week physical activity recall were collected for all subjects. Final data included surveys on barriers and preferences. A greater change in energy intake, percent energy intake from fat, body mass index, body fat, and energy expenditure for control versus experimental groups was hypothesized. No statistically significant differences were found. Lack of time and irregular schedules were cited barriers to eating well and exercising. Newsletters, e-mail, and individual counseling were preferred weight control education methods.