Feasibility of engaging college students in a 10-day plant-based diet

Elizabeth Salerno Valdez, Heidi Pottinger, Angela Urbon-Bonine, Burris Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study sought to determine the feasibility of (a) engaging college students in experiential learning through a 10-day whole foods plant-based diet intervention, (b) bringing pertinence to the course topics that had an emphasis on chronic conditions and (c) understanding how the intervention influenced students’ perceptions and behaviours. Design: Quasi-experimental design. Biomarkers, dietary perceptions and behaviours were collected at baseline and 11-day post-intervention. Setting: The study was implemented in the context of an undergraduate/graduate public health course. Method: We assessed the feasibility of the intervention using an acceptability focus, including participant retention in the intervention, and participant self-reported experience with the plant-based diet. We also utilised an implementation research focus, concerning the extent, likelihood and manner in which an intervention can be fully implemented as planned and proposed. Results: The intervention was determined to be feasible. Participants learned that their diet can affect multiple health conditions and all changed their diet in some way or another as a result. Of the 10 participants, mean change in total cholesterol was −26 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was −6.1 mg/dL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was −21.6 mg/dL, all with p values <.05. Conclusion: Findings suggest that through experiential learning, students will consider a whole food plant-based diet and/or make some personal lifestyle changes as a result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-963
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Chronic disease prevention
  • USA
  • college students
  • experiential learning
  • plant-based diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Feasibility of engaging college students in a 10-day plant-based diet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this