Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Jennifer Regan, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

In the past, artificial sweeteners have been touted as weight loss solutions because they theoretically do not interact with the body’s metabolism. However, new research is being done to test this theory, but what is the public awareness of these compounds’ interactions with the body? The purpose of this study is threefold: to assess the current awareness of the biological mechanisms of artificial sweeteners in traditional college-age individuals; to assess the effectiveness of video education in increasing this awareness; and to assess how the increase of this awareness might lead to intentions to change dietary habits. The study consisted of a short survey using the pre-test/post-test model. The pre-test evaluated prior awareness of artificial sweeteners and demographic information. Then, a short informational video was shown. Finally, the post-test evaluated new awareness, comprehension, and future dietary habit intentions. The results of this study showed that awareness of artificial sweeteners is low but can be increased with video education. However, intent to change dietary habits was not definitively affected by the video. The majority of participants did report a positive likelihood of investigating other compounds interactions with the body, indicating that video education can be an effective media for increasing health literacy.

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