Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Committee Chair(s)

Phillip Waite


Phillip Waite


Julie Gast


Mary Doty


In order to evaluate the short-term educational and behavioral impact of the American Heart Association's "Face the Fats" web application had upon college students, a study involving 116 Utah State University undergraduate students was conducted. A one-group pre-posttest design was utilized to answer eight research questions focusing on: health risks associated with trans fat, general trans fat knowledge, ability to identify foods containing trans and saturated fats, food label information, healthy alternatives to trans fat, and readiness to change trans fat intake. Participants completed an online pretest survey and then viewed the "Face the Fats" website at their own pace. After viewing the website, participants completed an online posttest survey. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel. Statistical analysis of a paired sample t test revealed that "Face the Fats" was successful in changing the general trans fat knowledge of participants (p = < 0.00). Results also showed participants increasing their knowledge of health risks associated with different types of fat (p = < 0.00). Knowledge of trans fat nutritional information on food labels also significantly increased (p = < 0.00) and participants were more able to name foods containing trans fat, although some confusion remained among foods that contained both saturated and trans fat. Using a chi-square test, it was found that participants were more likely to state they were seriously considering reducing trans fat intake within the next 30 days after viewing "Face the Fats" (p = < 0.00). Results of a paired sample t test also showed an increase in the impact that trans fat information had on participants' decision to purchase and consume food (p = < 0.00).