Committee Chair

Crawford, Elizabeth K.

Committee Member

Rausch, David W.; Banks,Steven R.; Ward, Jennifer M.


School of Professional Studies


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The issue of obesity continues to be a concern in the US. Throughout the years, research has shown that adopting healthier eating habits and increasing physical activity can help people lead healthier lives. Families of low socioeconomic status suffer disproportionately from poor health. Nutrition education programs have been successful in supporting program participant’s efforts towards health; however, recruiting and retaining program participation has been challenging. Completing a series of face-to-face classes has been difficult for this population due to various barriers they face. Providing distance-based opportunities, such as hybrid nutrition education programs, could assist in overcoming some of these barriers. The purpose of this research is to determine how low-income audiences in Tennessee perceive nutrition education delivered in a blended learning method. Data was collected from Tennesseans from six rural, three suburban, and four urban counties, who received supplemental assistance or whose income was at or below 185% of the poverty guidelines developed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Eighty participants complete an online Likert-style survey consisting of questions concerning their experiences with technology, nutrition education and nutrition information. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified what participants wanted to experience in a hybrid nutrition education program. The findings of this study indicated a relationship between participants’ perception and where they live, and how they currently receive nutrition information. There was no significant relationship between participants’ preferred delivery method and where they live, their access to technology, and how they currently receive nutrition information. Most participants would like to see some form of technology incorporated into a nutrition education program. The majority of the participants disagreed that it would be difficult to participate in a hybrid nutrition education program. Participants expressed they would want to see food demonstrations, receive accurate nutrition information, and kid friendly recipes in a hybrid program. The findings provide direction for future research and future practices in nutrition education.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Nutrition--Study and teaching--Tennessee; Poor--Nutrition--Tennessee


hybrid learning; limited income; nutrition education; perception;


Educational Leadership

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xiii, 91 leaves