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

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrea Arikawa

Third Advisor

Dr. Jenifer Ros

Department Chair

Dr. Andrea Arikawa

College Dean

Dr. Curt Lox


Concerns about Food Loss and Waste (FLW) have been rapidly growing worldwide as it came to be understood how the loss of about one-third of the edible food produced globally leads to environmental damage, leads to loss of about USD 1 trillion and keeps food from hungry people. Consumers in developed countries account for the largest majority of food that is wasted. College presents an excellent opportunity to reach young adults as they are developing their identity, self-efficacy and life skills. Utilizing the Motivation-Ability-Opportunity Framework, this research’s overall goal was to find a Curriculum Strategy to engage allied health students in sustainability awareness and practices towards reducing food waste. This quasi-experimental research project tested in an online college Fundamentals of Nutrition class (n = 197) if a series of classroom activities including System and Action Lectures and a Discussion post would result in raised Motivation, Ability, and Opportunity (MAO) scores and in reduced Food Waste. A pre- post-survey of 60 questions asked sociodemographic and Likert scale questions about Food Waste Prevention Practices and questions related to MAO. To test for behavior change, the outcome measure was personal food waste collected for three days pre- and post- curriculum activities. Results showed food waste was significantly lower from pre- to post- at p = .0012. The summed constructs of Motivation and Ability were significantly raised from pre- to post. There was no significant relation found between the sociodemographic variables and the amount of pre-food waste. The only significant connection found between Prevention Practices and pre-food waste was Impulse Buying with higher levels significantly related to higher levels of food waste p = .0011. The intervention lowered food waste and raised Motivation and Ability to reduce food waste.