Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN)


Nutrition & Dietetics

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Nutrition & Dietetics

First Advisor

Dr. Lauri Wright

Department Chair

Dr. Lauri Wright


The three aims of the study investigated the females’ age 18-25 perception, knowledge, and health beliefs, barriers and strategies to overcoming barriers to prevent osteoporosis. The mixed method explanatory design of research was implemented. Phase one used a survey to gather demographic data, past and current behaviors, the completion of the Osteoporosis Health Behavior Scale (OHBS) questionnaire, and Short Calcium Intake List (SCaIL). Four hundred forty-nine quality survey responses were obtained. The second phase, the focus group (n=23), discussed questions designed to answer the three aims of the study. Results- Our analysis showed 90% of our 447 survey participants did not ingest the RDA of 1000mg of calcium. Those that drank milk growing up and ate four or more family meals were more likely to consume the RDA of calcium as a young adult. Also those consuming 2 or more glasses of milk per day as a young adult were more likely to meet calcium RDA. As participants were more health motivated they saw fewer barriers to exercise and calcium intake. There was a positive relationship between if participants believed they were more susceptible to and viewed osteoporosis as serious they were more likely to believe there were more barriers to helping themselves. Conclusion- These results suggest a need for nutrition education using hands-on teaching methods, and a national marketing/social media platform focused towards the young adult female pertaining to dietary consumption of calcium, vitamin D and physical activity as it relates to bone health/prevention of osteoporosis. This age group are the future parents and leaders of the next generation and current and past research indicates education of healthy meals, childhood milk consumption and family meals equate to healthier future outcomes of the next generation.