Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 4-16-2024


Nutrition and Dietetics

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Michael Perlow, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Ms. Lacey Latimer, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Ms. Nichole Haynes, Committee Member


College students of health-related majors are sometimes assumed to have greater health literacy. The belief can be attributed to the students taking classes discussing health problems, diseases, risk factors, medical management, nutrition, and exercise. How often the health classes discuss type 2 diabetes (T2D) remains undetermined; therefore, the amount of knowledge and beliefs health students have of T2D is unknown. The objective of the study was to examine the relationship between students' majors, health beliefs about T2D, and engagement in behavioral risk factors at a mid-size regional public university. A quantitative, non-experimental, survey design was chosen, and responses were obtained through convenience sampling. Students filled out a 13-question survey including questions regarding academic year, academic major, T2D health beliefs, and T2D behavioral risk factors. The study found that T2D risk perception and physical activity behaviors of students with health-related majors were the only health belief and behavior which significantly differed from students with non-health-related majors. Overall, most students were not aware of the non-controllable versus controllable risk factors of T2D, health fatalism was identified among participants, students had increased sedentary behavior and unhealthy eating habits, and most students did not believe themselves to be at risk for T2D despite participating in risk behaviors.