Mentor: Dr. Anne Matthews
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"I applied to the Scholars program because I really enjoy learning about the the field of nutrition. The opportunity to conduct research as well as analyze and present data for my own project is what attracted me the most to this program. I hope to acquire more research experience and enhance my scientific writing skills. For the academic year, I am looking forward to writing my senior thesis on this research project."
- Florida Bright Futures, 2009-present
Hobbies and Interests
Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake of College Students
My project involves the collection and evaluation of data on the average level of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3s) intake of college students. A daily intake of one to three grams of omega-3s is thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and associated health disorders such as hypertension, arthritis, skin conditions, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends that adults consume 8-12 ounces of seafood per week to encourage the adequate consumption of omega-3s. While various surveys regarding the consumption of omega-3s by adults exist, little information about the fish and omega-3 consumption by young adults attending college remains scarce. Even while transitioning into college life may make it more difficult for these young adults to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet. I would also like to observe if participation in a health promotion course, that mentions omega-3s, results in an increase in omega-3 fatty acid intake, which will be assessed by three multiple-pass 24-hour recalls taken before the course and three upon completion of the course. A multiple-pass 24-hour recall is a record of any foods eaten within the past 24 hours. With the data of participants’ recalls, I will be able to evaluate the sources of omega-3s in the participants’ diets and therefore, assess the adequacy of the consumption of omega-3s of college students. With the knowledge of a healthy or unhealthy level of omega-3s, college students would be informed if adjustments are recommended or necessary to their lifestyle and diet.