Date of Graduation

Spring 2013


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in Family and Consumer Sciences


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Joanna Cemore Brigden


cafeteria, nutrition, middle school, calories, obesity, NSLP, competitive foods

Subject Categories

Human and Clinical Nutrition


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between nutrition facts, nutrition education, and the purchasing behaviors of 8th grade middle school students. Methods of measuring data involved collecting cafeteria purchasing records of students for a six week time period. Four main groups of meals were compared (deli, grill, pizza, and works meals) for each Tuesday of the six week study. The study included 88 participants, with 54 who were taught nutrition education (how to read nutrition fact labels, make healthier choices, control portion size, and maintain a healthy weight). The remaining 34 students did not receive nutrition education and only had access to the nutrition labels posted in the cafeteria for four weeks. Although slight changes of purchasing behaviors were demonstrated by both groups, by the sixth week of the study the purchasing behaviors reverted back to the first week baseline. The intervention of both nutrition labels and nutrition education had little to no effect on the nutrition education group's purchasing behavior of the highest caloric meal (works meal) each week. Further research is recommended to examine 8th grade students' motivations to change purchasing behaviors in the cafeteria.


© Becky Lynn Moore

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