Food, Health and Values
The Effects of Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Sustainable Food Practices on Overall Diet Quality among College Students
Objective: This study examined the associations between overall diet quality and attitudes and behaviors regarding sustainable food practices among college students. Additionally, the roles of gender and race in attitudes and behaviors regarding sustainable food practices were examined. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a total of 97 college students. Surveys were completed to assess the relationships between self-reported dietary intake and attitudes toward local and genetically modified foods, along with farmers’ market attendance. The roles of gender and race in attitudes and behaviors regarding sustainable food practices were also examined. Independent t-tests and chi square analyses were used for statistical analysis. Results: The overall diet quality mean score (ODQMS) was higher for students who attended farmers’ markets, for those who had positive attitudes toward local food, and for those who had negative attitudes toward genetically modified food. There was a significant difference between males and females in their farmers’ market attendance, attitudes toward genetically modified food, and ODQMS. Conclusions: Diet quality of college students was associated with attitudes toward local and genetically modified foods, farmers’ market attendance, and gender. Future research should focus on further understanding of relationships between consumer understanding of sustainable food practices and healthy food choices.