Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Communication

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 320 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Matthew Matsaganis

Committee Members

Janine Jurkowsi, Annis Golden


Nutrition, Nutrition disorders in adolescence, Health education, Communication in education

Subject Categories



We have an undeniable awareness about the rates of obesity in our country, and we know that rates of obesity among children and youth are higher than ever. In fact, this is predicted to be the first generation of children who will not live longer than their parents. An abundance of research has identified the challenges and the causes of childhood obesity, and even proposed solutions for addressing this growing public health concern. One of the suggested solutions, or at least preventative measures, involves schools playing an active role in combating the obesity epidemic through the provision of nutrition interventions. Accordingly, research has explored the impact of in-school nutrition education on obesity. However, gaps remain in the literature. From a health communication perspective, the mechanisms for combating obesity via nutrition education remain relatively unknown. This is largely because observation of school nutrition programs is widely underutilized, so we lack an understanding of what and how children learn about nutrition in school and thus how that education influences their behaviors. This case study sought to help address that gap, and provide insight into the constellation of factors that shaped children’s nutrition-related attitudes and behaviors in the school environment. A secondary objective of this study was to determine if nutrition education in a school provided children with media literacy skills for interpreting food marketing messages, further strengthening their abilities for healthful nutrition decision-making.

Included in

Communication Commons