Poster Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 216

P18-048 - Folate Knowledge and Sources of Information among Undergraduate College Students

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: To characterize folate knowledge and identify folate information sources among undergraduate college students.

Methods: We recruited 96 students attending a United States university (20 y, 88% female). Facebook and student organizations were used to recruit participants to complete an online survey. Participants were categorized by correct response (Y/N) to two multiple choice folate questions that ascertained knowledge on (Q1) reasons for folate consumption in women and (Q2) timing of supplementation in women. Further, participants were scored based on the percent of correctly identified folate food sources (Q3). A separate question determined participants’ primary folate information sources. Associations of folate information source with folate knowledge (Q1 and Q2) were measured by chi-square. Mann-Whitney U tests quantified the difference in Q3 scores of each folate information source relative to those who identified as having not received any folate information.

Results: In this student sample, 76% and 71% correctly responded to Q1 and Q2, respectively. The median Q3 score (25th-75th) was 50% (25%-63%). The top two sources of folate knowledge were the internet (46%) and a college course (36%). Conversely, 27% reported never receiving information on folate. Compared to students who reported having not received any folate information, there was a significantly greater proportion of correct responses to Q1 for college course (89% vs 62%; P=0.03), relative/friend (100% vs 62%; P=0.02), and media (100% vs 62%; P=0.04). We observed a greater proportion of correct responses to Q2 if folate information was obtained from the internet (75% vs 42%; P=0.01) and college course (91% vs 42%; P<0.001). Scores for Q3 were higher among those who obtained folate knowledge from the internet [50% (38%-72%) vs 31% (0%-63%); P=0.02], college course [63% (38%-75%) vs 31% (0%-63%); P=0.001], and media [63% (44%-81%) vs 31% (0%-63%); P=0.02].

Conclusions: Greater folate knowledge was associated with folate information obtained from the internet, media, and a college course. We observed that students who received information from a college course had greater folate knowledge according to all three knowledge questions, suggesting classes may be a productive way to relay folate information to college students.

Funding Source: None.

CoAuthors: Ruth Reilly , Ph.D., R.D., L.D. – University of New Hampshire ; Sherman Bigornia, Ph.D. – University of New Hampshire

Jessica L. Pelletier

Student Researcher
University of New Hampshire
Milford, Massachusetts