Date of Award

Summer 6-22-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Desiree Wanders, PhD

Second Advisor

Jessica Todd, MS, RD, LDN

Third Advisor

Katherine Wiley, MIM, RD, LDN


Introduction:. College-aged students do not meet recommended intakes of fruits and vegetables, which over time can increase risk of chronic diseases. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether nutrition education on different forms of fruits and vegetables delivered during a grocery store tour impacted fruit and vegetable consumption among undergraduate students enrolled in introductory nutrition courses at Georgia State University (GSU).

Methods: Undergraduate students enrolled in introductory nutrition courses completed an initial fruit and vegetable consumption survey at the start of the semester. The experimental group (n=93) completed the grocery store tour, while the control group (n=51) did not. Both groups completed a final survey on fruit and vegetable consumption at the end of the semester. The survey investigated the following areas: daily fruit consumption; daily vegetable consumption; forms of fruits consumed; forms of vegetables consumed; reasons to consume fruits; reasons to consume vegetables; reasons to avoid fruit; reasons to avoid vegetables. Educational and interactive grocery store tours, led by GSU Coordinated Program students, focused on the following areas: fresh produce; dried fruits; canned fruits/vegetables; frozen fruits/vegetables; 100% juices. The percent of participants who increased fruit/vegetable consumption from/day to >2 servings/day and the number of forms of fruits/vegetables consumed was calculated using descriptive statistics.

Results: Fruit consumption increased among participants in both the control and experimental group. However, the experimental group demonstrated a greater increase in number of participants increasing consumption to 2 or more servings per day for fruit (65.2% and 52.9%, respectively). Vegetable intake increased in the control group (49% of participants) after the nutrition course but no difference in vegetable consumption was observed in the experimental group. The grocery tour intervention did not increase the number of forms of fruits and vegetables consumed. The control group reported prevention of disease, while the experimental group reported good taste, as the most frequent reason to consume fruit both before and after the intervention. Both the control and experimental groups reported health as the most frequent reason to consume vegetables both before and after the intervention. The experimental group reported cost as the most frequent reason not to consume fruit before the intervention, but after the intervention, “other reasons” was the most frequently reported reason for not consuming fruits. These results indicate that the nutrition education may have impacted perceived barriers to fruit consumption.

Conclusion: Our data indicate grocery store tours increase fruit consumption among undergraduate students. Due to the increase in fruit and vegetable consumption between both groups, enrollment in a nutrition course may have influence consumption. Future studies are needed to investigate influence of nutrition courses and to quantify other reasons to consume fruits and vegetables as well as not to consume fruits and vegetables.