Integration of Nutrition in the Post-Secondary Culinary Curriculum: Designing a Model
Type of DegreeDissertation
Nutrition and Food Science
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The present study investigates current nutritional curriculum competencies taught in post-secondary culinary programs and identifies barriers that exist teaching nutrition in post-secondary culinary curriculum. This research was initiated due to the growing consumer demand for foods prepared outside the home coupled with growing concerns over obesity, heart disease, and other related health problems. The significance of this study will allow educators to have current information to accurately integrate nutrition competency into curriculum at the levels deemed needed by industry and stakeholders. The commercial foodservice industry, a major employer of culinary graduates has become the center of attention due to the fact consumers are eating out more frequently contributing to rapid increases in obesity and related diseases. Consumers are eager for healthier foods selections, fewer calories, and fat, but not at the expense of taste. The U.S. government is taking a proactive stance in ensuring that nutritional concepts are integrated into future U.S. health policies. The government is also beginning to hold the commercial foodservice industry responsible for the foods they produce. The foodservice industry will continue to hire graduates from culinary and hospitality programs; these graduates are expected to be trained to meet the needs of the foodservice industry. To this end, this study examines and identifies gaps between perceived nutritional curriculum competencies held by stakeholders and the current nutritional competencies followed in post-secondary culinary programs. This research specifically focus on the degree to which nutritional concepts are being taught in post-secondary culinary curriculum and what barriers currently exist to teaching nutritional concepts in culinary post-secondary curriculum. As a result of findings from this study, based on expert recommendations, a model illustrating the philosophical relationships between nutrition and culinary curricula is developed.