Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Dawn Brewer


Risk factors, including exposure to environmental pollutants, poor dietary and overall health outcomes, and low environmental health literacy (EHL), place the rural Appalachian youth population at increased risk for chronic diseases. Implementation of nutrition and pollution curriculum into two week-long summer day camps for youth ages 5-12 years that focus around healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship has the potential to increase health protective action in this community. This research utilized qualitative interviews of 30 Kids on the Creek Camp attendees to determine the efficacy of the implementation of an active learning lesson to increase EHL by explaining the link between exposure to environmental pollutants and negative human health effects and explaining nutrition’s mitigating effects on environmental pollutants among rural youth.

The majority of the participants were found to achieve the recognition level of EHL but those of older age (8-11 years) and whom attended both camps showed greater understanding of the relationship between consuming a healthy diet and reduction of pollution-initiated health issues. Results suggest that further implementation of educational materials into low-EHL youth populations have the potential to provide a means by which future health protective action through healthy lifestyle strategies can result.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Research reported was supported by NIEHS/NIH grant P42ES007380 for the years 2014-2020. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.