Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Human Nutrition and Foods

Committee Chair

Cindy Fitch.


As the number of overweight adolescents in the United States continues to grow, effective methods of treatment intervention need to be established. The objective of this study was to determine if various methods of nutrition education is an effective approach to teach overweight 10-14 year-old adolescents (BMI ≥85th percentile on the CDC's growth charts) in West Virginia to make healthier food choices. Twenty-four adolescents were recruited through schools, physician offices, and community programs to attend a two-week residential lifestyle-modification camp with three follow-up weekends over the next 12 months. Prior to attending the initial camp session, subjects were asked to complete a three-day diet journal. Three-months later, subjects were asked to complete a three-day diet journal before coming to the first follow-up weekend. While attending the camp session, subjects participated in four, 50 minute nutrition education lessons focusing on the Plate Method and 'Always' food choices vs. 'Sometimes' or 'Sparing' food choices. Only subjects with recorded pre- and post-camp diet journals were analyzed to determine statistical significance (N=10). Diet records prior to camp indicated that on average subjects were not meeting recommendations for servings of fruits, vegetables, milk, or whole grains, but were exceeding recommendations for soda/sweetened drinks and high fat/sugar foods. Diet records at follow-up indicate that on average subjects significantly increased fruit intake (P<0.05) and significantly decreased soda/sweetened drink intake (P<0.05) when compared to pre-camp diet journals. Diet records at follow-up indicate improvement in the number of times subjects reported eating vegetables, whole grains, and not eating high fat/sugar foods. No difference was noted in water consumption. Using a two-week residential camp to provide nutrition education is an effective way to help overweight adolescents make healthier food choices at snack- and meal-times.