Understanding the Impact of Using Mass Media as a Pedagogical Tool for Nutrition Education of Healthcare Workers in the Community College Classroom
Penny Michelle Shumaker Jeffrey, North Carolina State University, United States
North Carolina State University . Awarded
Nutrition-related messages inundate mass media advertisements in the United States but it is unclear as to how those messages affect a person‘s food selection behavior and awareness of nutrient and non-nutrient message content. This dissertation is a culmination of research examining the use of mass media (television and print) as a pedagogical tool to evaluate food selection and content awareness in advertisements for a health science community college nutrition course.
A mixed-methods, pretest-posttest design included a total of fifty-nine participants from four nutrition classes; two classes received traditional instruction (control) and two classes incorporated mass media within the course content (treatment). All four classes were taught by a single nutrition instructor. Both groups were given pre and post-course surveys to evaluate questions related to the awareness of nutritional food-related advertisements in mass media. Media interpretation exercises were given pre and post-course course to measure awareness about content (nutrition and non-nutrition) of nutritional food-related advertisements. Additionally, fifteen students were interviewed pre and post-course to gain an understanding about their awareness of nutritional messages in food-related advertisements. The findings from this study are presented in two manuscripts that include further discussion of how current behavioral theories used in nutrition education relate to the findings.
The first manuscript of this study examines the impact of using print and television mass media during nutrition instruction on reported food selection behaviors. Results showed there were few significant differences in food selection relative to mass media within and between control and treatment groups pre to postcourse. Interviews suggested that food behaviors are firmly grounded in beliefs and attitudes. Furthermore, the influence of mass media as a pedagogical strategy for this nutrition course did not change reported eating behaviors.
The second manuscript of this study examines the effects of using print and television mass media as a pedagogical tool to increase students‘ awareness of nutrition in advertising. Survey results showed that there are no differences in awareness of food-related advertisements seen in television or print for students in the control group as compared to students who received mass media (television and print) as an instructional tool. The media interpretation exercise indicated limited differences in awareness about content (nutrition and non-nutrition) of nutritional food-related advertisements for participants who received mass media as an instructional tool as compared to those in the control group post-course. Interviews indicated that students in both groups reported that they were more aware at postcourse of advertisement content including message, nutrition, visual and emotional emphases. However, a tally of the number of students who commented about the coded themes indicated that the treatment group had an overall decrease in the number of students that commented about the message, nutrition, visual or emotional aspect of the advertisements while the control group had an increase.
Shumaker Jeffrey, P.M. Understanding the Impact of Using Mass Media as a Pedagogical Tool for Nutrition Education of Healthcare Workers in the Community College Classroom. Ph.D. thesis, North Carolina State University.
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