Changes in student responses after an interdisciplinary graduate course in nutrition and obesity
Shollenberger, Kellyn Wright
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The purpose of this study was to explore changes in responses by graduate students (n = 19) enrolled in the graduate interdisciplinary course FDNS 6240 Nutrition and Obesity across the Lifespan. Both at the start and end of the course, student knowledge was evaluated by assessments which included the question “write down everything that comes to mind when you think of nutrition and obesity across the lifespan.” Responses were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The post course assessment had an increased discussion about physiological and environmental influences, balance between personal choice and outside factors, complexity of the obesity issue, the need for multidisciplinary treatment, and the role of the food industry to address obesity. Mental health was mentioned in the pre course assessment but nearly disappeared in the post course assessment responses. This study shows areas for ongoing course development and demonstrates that students can work together to address obesity.