The Influence of a Campus-based Culinary, Nutrition Education Program, "College CHEF," on College Students' Self-efficacy with Cooking Skills and Nutrition Behaviors

Jennifer McMullen, Melinda Ickes


Background: College students tend to have poor dietary habits. Self-efficacy is important in promoting positive behavior change and may be impactful when targeting college students' eating and cooking habits.
Aim: To evaluate the influence of a campus-based culinary nutrition education program, the College CHEF, on participants' self-efficacy for cooking skills and techniques and fruit and vegetable (FV) use and consumption.
Methods: Study subjects comprised intervention (N = 15) and control participants (N = 17). The mean age of the intervention group was 18 (SD = 0.00) with a mean age for control group participants of 18.3 (SD = 0.59). The intervention group participated in four weekly hands-on cooking/nutrition sessions. Pre- and post-surveys to assess changes with self-efficacy were administered through Qualtrics to both groups (Qualtrics Inc., 2013). Subscale responses
were compared utilizing t-tests, apriori p < .05.
Results: Intervention participants reported significant improvements as compared to the control group for the Self-Efficacy for using Fruits, Vegetables, and Seasonings subscale (p =.015).
Conclusion: Findings support the implementation of campus-based programming to improve college students’ self-efficacy for using fruits, vegetables, and seasonings with cooking to promote healthier eating and cooking behaviors. Future research should explore the various means to promote self-efficacy (i.e., vicarious experiences, mastery experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological feedback) among college students as part of similar programming.


self-efficacy; college; nutrition; cooking; culinary

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ISSN: 2573-7643