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Learning About the Food Supply Helps Combat Freshman 15

Rather than teaching about the perils of obesity, new research out of Stanford suggests that teaching college students about where their food...


Rather than teaching about the perils of obesity, new research out of Stanford suggests that teaching college students about where their food comes from is more effective at getting them to eat better.

Students who took a course called "Food and Society," which discussed several issues related to the food supply, from agricultural topics to cultural ones. Readings came from books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and a screening of the movie King Corn was also a part of the class.

When compared to students who took health-centric seminars related to obesity and psychology, the people who'd studied the societal impacts on food reported eating healthier diets with more servings of vegetables and fewer fatty dairy products.

"The study suggests that interventions may promote greater behavior change when focusing on processes that motivate the behavior rather than on outcomes," said the work's lead author, Stanford post-doc Eric Hekler. "We believe that this approach has great potential to produce larger and more sustained changes, but it's unclear whether books and films can inspire other populations to adopt a healthier lifestyle."

So, is a bonus implication of the study that college students are more influenced by media than others?

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