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Title Intuitive Eating: Expanding the Research & Describing the State of Practice
Publication Date
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department College of Public Health
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher Kent State University
Abstract The traditional approach to weight management that encourages individuals to restrict calories, specific nutrients, or dietary intake is rarely effective, often results in additional weight gain, and can lead to eating disorders. Researchers have raised ethical issues with continuing to promote this approach. Support is growing for an alternative approach to address all weight- and eating-related issues. Intuitive eating is a non-diet, health-centered approach characterized by a strong connection with hunger and fullness and a healthy relationship with food and the body. The purpose of this dissertation was to expand the research and describe the state of practice regarding intuitive eating through three specific aims. The first aim was to examine the effects of an intuitive eating intervention delivered via college curriculum. Students in the course increased total intuitive eating (p=.0036), unconditional permission to eat (p<.0001), and eating based on internal cues (p=.0175). No changes were observed in disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, or physical activity. This study provides evidence that an intervention delivered via college curriculum is effective in increasing adaptive eating attitudes and behavior in young adults. The second aim was to develop and validate an instrument to measure registered dietitian/nutritionists (RD/Ns) knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding intuitive eating. An instrument was developed and distributed to a 10% random sample of all RD/Ns in the United States (U.S.). More than 22% completed the survey (n=1,897). Analysis revealed that instrument represented four factors: knowledge of intuitive eating, attitudes towards intuitive eating, use of traditional/restrictive practices, and use of non-restrictive/intuitive eating practices. The survey was then distributed to the remaining 90% of RD/Ns. Nearly 25% completed the survey (n=18,622). Results confirmed the four-factor solution of the survey. The third aim was to describe the knowledge of and attitudes towards intuitive eating and use of traditional/restrictive and non-restrictive/intuitive eating practices. Results indicated that most are knowledgeable of and have positive attitudes towards intuitive eating. The use of non-restrictive/intuitive eating practices were more common than traditional/restrictive practices, providing evidence that RD/Ns are moving away from the traditional weight management paradigm and towards an intuitive eating approach.
Subjects/Keywords Nutrition; Health Education; Public Health; intuitive eating; overweight and obesity; unhealthy weight control behaviors; registered dietitian nutritionists
Contributors Jefferis, Eric (Committee Co-Chair); Zullo, Melissa (Committee Co-Chair)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: some rights reserved. It is licensed for use under a Creative Commons license. Specific terms and permissions are available from this document's record in the OhioLINK ETD Center. [Always confirm rights and permissions with the source record.]
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:kent1428408214
Repository ohiolink
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor Kent State University

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…model for this study can be found in Appendix A. This research was reviewed and approved by the Kent State University Institutional Review Board (IRB). Intervention The intervention was conducted through the course “Dieting, Body Image, and…

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