Our project was a success! On Wednesday, the ready-to-go specials were made available in the Pavilion, giving students the option to bypass the long hot lunch line. Our fliers remain posted around the campus, and continue to educate the Windward community. Our main focus this week was our interactive element for the forum. We decided to display our educational flier next to our poster, along with a second flier about heart-healthy substitutions for unhealthy food. Also, Joy created a short nutrition quiz based on information from the American Heart Association website, featuring questions about various topics including fats, whole grains, sugars, and Nutrition Facts labels, which is now available on our blog as an additional educational tool. The final component of our interactive element was a display of packaged snacks, which we asked our visitors at the forum to order from healthiest to least healthy. We pointed out and explained important aspects of the Nutrition Facts labels and ingredient lists, and expressed our own opinions about which of the three snacks (LAY’SⓇ Classic Potato Chips, SmartfoodⓇ White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn, and Now and Later Long Lasting Chews) was the healthiest.
In summary, the data from our survey showed that many students were making their decisions in the Pavilion without much background knowledge about the consequences of unhealthy eating. It also showed that many students were willing to eat healthier if there were more options and shorter lines. We also gathered much data from our nutrition quiz. Although quite a few of our visitors took the quiz, no one earned a perfect score (the average score was about 5 out of 10 points). It was interesting that many of those who took our quiz did not know which nutrients were beneficial in a Nutrition Facts label, nor could they distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. We presented several times at the forum, and handed out fliers in hopes of encouraging healthy eating beyond Windward. To improve the accuracy of our results, we could have sent out our quiz to a greater number of people in order to get a better sense of how knowledgeable people are about the food choices they are making. We hope that everyone who visited our group during the forum benefited from our presentation and was inspired to eat healthier in some way!