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Scholarship of Discovery


Nutrigenomics is a newly researched area that investigates the interplay between nutrition and genetics. Theoretically, this information could enable registered dietitians to provide personalized, tailored nutrition recommendations unique to a given individual and enable individuals to alleviate future health concerns, such as cancer and heart disease. Given the potential importance of such research, the current study investigated the behavioral response of college students to this information. Seventy-five students from a small, Midwestern liberal arts university were recruited to participate in survey research. Utilizing a true experiment design, control and experimental groups completed a pretest survey measuring current dietary habits and their likeliness to change their habits when provided with nutrigenomics information, with the experimental group first having to attend an informational session on nutrition, nutrigenomics, and genetics. Approximately five months after the administration of the· first survey, participants completed an online posttest survey designed to determine whether or not the students' dietary habits had changed. Statistical analyses found no significant differences between any survey responses, including both pre- and posttest survey data. Therefore, in the current study, nutrigenomics education did not result in a behavioral change. While the results do confirm those of other researchers, the question still begs to be asked why such important and potentially life-saving information does not cause individuals to change their dietary habits.


Honors Capstone Project completed in 2012 for Olivet Nazarene University.