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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The evaluation of the Great Eating Made Simple (GEMS) program
by Osburn, Natalie Joy, Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2007, 132; 3283455
Abstract (Summary)

Overweight and obesity in adolescents has reached epidemic proportions and continues to contribute to many health issues that will have long-term and negative effects. There are many factors that affect overweight and obesity, and they do not act in a vacuum, but interact with each other to create a complex problem. The cost to the person is devastating in the loss of personal health and the cost to society due to the increased medical costs for care and the loss of job productivity negatively impacts all citizens. There are many stakeholders trying to make a positive difference and reverse this growing trend, yet despite their efforts we are not realizing a positive change in the rate of overweight and obesity.

This study utilized two journals and the GEMS Knowledge Survey to support three evaluation questions. The data from this survey were used to evaluate the growth in knowledge about nutrition students demonstrated over the course of GEMS. The Food For Thought Journal was used to demonstrate the growth in knowledge and the application of this knowledge on questions related to adolescent social and physical growth and knowledge about nutrition and eating habits. Finally, the Snack Journal was designed to track the after school snack eating habits of GEMS participants over the course of GEMS to determine if students were changing their eating habits as a result of their participation in GEMS.

The results of this study are limited by reasons discussed throughout chapters 3 and 4. There are some general results worth mentioning, however. First, students' knowledge about nutrition did increase as a result of their participation in GEMS. This is shown in data gathered from the GEMS Knowledge Survey and analyzed by the t test. Second, while there was only limited data that were usable from the Food For Thought Journals, there were trends that demonstrate that students were gaining information and knowledge about nutrition, eating healthy and body image. Finally, the Snack Journal did support the conclusion that when faced with a choice about a snack, GEMS students chose to eat healthy snacks more frequently than unhealthy snacks.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ruhl, Tom
Commitee: Doyle, Carol, Toray, Tamina
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 68/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Nutrition, Health education
Keywords: Eating habits, Great Eating Made Simple, Nutrition, Obesity
Publication Number: 3283455
ISBN: 978-0-549-23872-0
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