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Monday, November 12 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Nutrition and Physical Activity Habits of Study Abroad Students in Florence, Italy

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Obesity continues to be an epidemic in U.S. college students. Europeans, on the other hand, tend to have healthier eating habits and participate in more physical activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the nutrition and physical activity habits of American College students living in Italy for a four-week study abroad. Food preparation and eating time, nutritional quality, and physical activity of 21 American students were collected via self-report prior to study abroad, while in Italy, and again after returning to the U.S. Pre- and post- surveys were also completed to specifically measure self-efficacy. Overall, participants appeared to either maintain or improve their self-efficacy from pre-post survey for both eating healthy and physical activity. Participants increased their physical activity during the study abroad, and remained higher one month post-study abroad experience. Nutrition habits did not change while in Italy, although time spent eating did, with students increasing their time spent eating while in Italy. Findings from this study support previous research that states that college students do not meet most nutrition and physical activity recommendations. The fact that physical activity was greatly improved while studying abroad lends support to research stating that the environment can greatly influence health choices, particularly when the healthy choice is the default choice. College students studying abroad may provide a captive audience for health education.

avatar for Dana Bush

Dana Bush

Department Chair, Eastern Kentucky University
Higher Education. Our program offers an online bachelors in child development and also certificates in early childhood administration as well as infant/toddler programming.
avatar for Rachel Harrington

Rachel Harrington

Assistant Professor, Eastern Kentucky University

Monday November 12, 2018 3:00pm - 3:50pm EST
Coldstream IV

Attendees (2)