• Behaviors and Perceptions Concerning Online Nutrition Information Among Young Adult Midwest University Students

      Moeckly, Brenda (2013-02-18)
      Since the inception of the Internet, Americans have become increasingly dependent upon this medium for gleaning information, with each new generation being more apt to seek information online. This general trend has affected, among many other things, the search for health and nutrition information. While the Internet can provide a wealth of beneficial information for users, it can pose a myriad of dangers, as well, if users do not know how to look for credible information. The objectives of this study were to determine where university students search for nutrition information and what criteria they use when seeking nutrition information online. The population sampled was from a Midwest University. Participants were selected via convenience sampling methods. Students were invited to participate in an online survey available campuswide. Data was analyzed using SPSS statistical software. This study found that 73% of students surveyed indicated they use the Internet to search for nutrition information online. Government websites and product websites were shown to be chosen most often as being visited for nutrition information. The credibility criteria most often chosen as being important included date of publication or update of information, the information’s being authored by a medical doctor, and the web address ending in “.gov.” The results of this study identified that the majority of university students sampled used the Internet when searching for nutrition information and identified several criteria that students use when determining online nutrition information’s credibility. These results can be used to help health professionals, and registered dietitians in particular, know how best to provide and promote online health and nutrition information for consumers. Young adults are leading the trend of searching for health and nutrition information online, and registered dietitians need to provide timely, and understandable information for the public in order to best meet their needs.