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Evaluating the effects of a nutrition education program on the consumption of omega -3 fatty acids for heart patients

Kimberly Barber Heidal, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


To assess changes in food sources of omega-3 fatty acids by heart patients participating in a nutrition education program. To increase omega-3 fatty acid intakes and knowledge of omega-3 fatty acids in heart patients. Experimental design with repeated measures. The outcome measure was dietary omega-3 fatty acid intakes in g/day. Results are also given on servings of foods providing omega-3 fatty acids from eleven food groups. The major methods for collecting data were an omega-3 fatty acid food frequency questionnaire, a demographic form, a medical history form, and a decisional balance worksheet. The food frequency questionnaire was administered at baseline, one month post (midpoint), and two months post (end). Participants were 36 adults (15 males, 21 females) recruited from a local heart clinic. This was an eight week study that included a two hour omega-3 fatty acid nutrition education program during week one. Decisional Balance was used during the second week of the program in a one-on-one meeting with a registered dietitian for participants in the intervention group A. Members of the intervention group B received a follow-up phone call during the second week instead. Both groups received follow-up telephone calls at weeks three and seven. The omega-3 fatty acid daily intakes were determined using Microsoft Excel, 2000 package. Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs with post-hoc tests, Least Significant Difference were used to assess differences in dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake over time. Post-hoc tests indicated a significant increase in omega-3 fatty acid intakes between baseline and midpoint (P < .001), and from baseline and end (P < .014). This study depicts omega-3 fatty acid intakes in Midwestern heart patients. This nutrition education program was designed to increase participants omega-3 fatty acid intakes and knowledge and could be used by health care providers who work with populations that will benefit from consuming more dietary omega-3 fatty acids. These results can facilitate future omega-3 fatty acid interventions, and also offer clinical applications by identifying foods that may be beneficial to change.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Public health|Health education

Recommended Citation

Heidal, Kimberly Barber, "Evaluating the effects of a nutrition education program on the consumption of omega -3 fatty acids for heart patients" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3107891.