Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Nutrition


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Dr. Aydin Nazmi

Advisor Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Background: College students experience food insecurity at a rate 3.5 times higher than the U.S. general population, affecting 43% of students. Furthermore, college students consume high amounts of ultra-processed products. NOVA, a food classification system, takes into account food processing and is thought to better fit the modern food environment.

Purpose: The purpose of this research project was to examine the impact of CalFresh enrollment on food security status. This study also evaluated the impact of two different nutrition education interventions (MyPlate and MyPlate+NOVA) on participants’ dietary habits and nutrition knowledge.

Methods: Food security, dietary habits, and nutrition knowledge were assessed at baseline, three-month, and at six months follow-up. Food security status was measured using the USDA 6-item Short Form Food Security Assessment Module. A 12-week mobile nutrition education intervention providing MyPlate or MyPlate+NOVA nutrition messages was implemented, and dietary habits were assessed using an adapted NHANES 2009-2010 dietary screener questionnaire, while nutrition knowledge questions were created from the nutrition education messages.

Results: Food insecurity decreased by approximately 63% among CalFresh participants. There were no differences in dietary habits or nutrition knowledge among any of the intervention groups or the control group.