Background: The Internet continues to serve as an ideal venue for health edu-cation interventions promoting behavior change. Due to the progressive expan-sion in online education programs, new methodologies that contribute across health education and program planning continuums are needed.
Methods: This ecologic study investigated the change in student dietary behav-ior and food choices following an original online education intervention that introduced the Mediterranean diet (MD) in a community college in Houston, Texas. A non-probability convenience sample (n=65) provided pretest-posttest data measuring knowledge of and attitudes toward the MD. The intervention was incorporated into an undergraduate nutrition course, delivered entirely online and evaluated using the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED) survey.
Results: The intervention improved total participant population from a mean KIDMED score of poor (4.12) to a mean score of high (8.45) indicating an in-crease in knowledge of MD dietary guidelines and a positive shift in favorable attitude, particularly among men.
Conclusion: This study provides a unique pedagogical illustration of online learn-ing that introduce a specific evidence-based dietary guideline to a college student population. A detailed discussion of findings and lessons learned is provided.