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The Ideal Intervention Method For Colleges

2664 words - 11 pages

A recent study conducted by the American College Health Association characterized 38.7% males and 26.1% females in college as overweight or obese. (Reed et. al 298) As much alarming a situation it is, it could also raise questions of validity whether college is the actual reason of this situation. Results from a prospective longitudinal study acknowledge this doubt, and suggest that men and women in their first year of college gain weight more rapidly than the average American at the same age. (Holm-Denoma et al. S3) The infamous “Freshman 15” is an implication of the same, where inappropriate diet results in freshmen gaining fifteen pounds of weight. These sources indicate that there seems to be a detrimental connection between college and the health of students. As a solution to this association, many American colleges have initiated intervention methods, aiming to educate students about the importance healthy dining. These intervention methods range in type, such as point of selection, in person, prototyping, online and environmental intervention. Yet one question, which is seldom discussed, is: Which one of these intervention methods is ideal for a college setting? A question that possesses exigency for nutritionists and college authorities alike, the answer is surprisingly complicated: No intervention method I have found is ideal. Every intervention method that we will discuss possesses enough limitations for it to not qualify as the most dependable. I shall go through each of these interventions first and then carryout a meta-analysis towards the end. An integration of all the desirable qualities of the intervention would hence allow us to forming a picture of the ideal intervention method.
The first of the several intervention methods, as stated above, is in-person intervention. Ha et al adopted this method by conducting a class on nutrition and examined its impact on the dietary intake of his students. The classes were held 3 times a week for 50 minutes, which included personal and group activities along with tasting, preaching general nutritional education and goal setting. The students were required to fill a food log, which determined their progress over the session. The results of this experiment revealed a growth in the nutritional knowledge of the participants and an increase in their fruit, vegetable, skimmed milk and whole grain consumption. Yet, this experiment possessed limitations. The food logs might be altered due to social desirability bias. Wikipedia defines social desirability bias as “The tendency of respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others. It can take the form of over-reporting "good behavior" or under-reporting "bad," or undesirable behavior”. Also, due to the diversity of activities performed in each class, which ones actually improved their results is questionable.

This limitation was overcome by another similar intervention by Schnoll R and Zimmerman BJ, but this time,...

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