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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How College Students Access Nutrition Information: A Study on Social Media and Health Literacy
by Abbott, Emily, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 94; 10843168
Abstract (Summary)

Over 85% of all adults are active on social media. Social media is challenging as an information-sharing community because there is no formal review process before the information is published. College students are among the most active users of social media and have been shown to be ineffective in determining credible information online. Eighty-three students from two universities participated in a voluntary, online survey that assessed the relationship between gender, enrollment year, and academic major of college students and how the students navigated social media to obtain nutrition information. Variables were tested using a chi-square analysis; if determinants were n < 5 a Fisher’s exact test was run. <p> Results indicated that female students were significantly more likely to use Instagram, x2 = 5.224, p = 0.022 or Pinterest, p = 0.002, to access nutrition information and placed higher importance on the quality of photos than males, x2 = 4.953, p = 0.026. Additionally, female students were more likely to search for healthy recipes, x 2 = 11.044, p = 0.001, weight loss information, x2 = 7.675, p = 0.006, and to trust chefs, x2 = 6.863, p = 0.009 and food bloggers, p = < 0.001. Descriptively, it was found that students are more likely to search for broad nutrition topics such as general nutrition tips, weight loss, and healthy recipes. Students were found to trust both credible (registered dietitians, physicians) and non-credible professionals (personal trainers, nutritionist). Future research should expand on how students use social media for nutrition/health information using a larger, more culturally diverse subject pool with a more detailed focus on implications of social media as a nutrition source.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wang, Long
Commitee: Blaine, Rachel, Gray, Virginia
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Family and Consumer Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public Health Education, Nutrition, Web Studies, Information science
Keywords: College students, Health literacy, Nutrition information, Social media
Publication Number: 10843168
ISBN: 978-0-438-60389-9
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