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


Experts recommend individuals adopt healthy and sustainable dietary behaviors to improve human and environmental health. The objective of this study was to pilot a sustainable eating Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Cooperative Extension curriculum and evaluate the effectiveness of the lesson series by measuring participants’ changes in knowledge, perceptions, and intentions towards healthy and sustainable dietary behaviors as well as overall satisfaction with lessons. A five-lesson sustainable eating curriculum was developed with topics focused on: reducing food waste; eating more seasonal, local plant-based foods; varying protein sources; maintaining energy balance; and consuming fewer highly processed and packaged foods. To assess individuals’ current knowledge and perceptions towards sustainable dietary behaviors, as well as overall lesson satisfaction, an overall pre/post-curriculum questionnaire was used along with five retrospective pre/post individual lesson questionnaires. Feelings towards health and sustainability; knowledge of healthy and sustainable diet-related behaviors; and perceptions towards sustainable eating barriers differed significantly between pre/post-curriculum questionnaires as well as amongst individual lesson questionnaires, P< 0.002. Overall lesson satisfaction remained high amongst participants with more than 95% of participants rating the lessons as timely, practical, and very educational. FCS Cooperative Extension Agents in Kentucky can effectively deliver an educational curriculum on healthy and sustainable dietary behaviors and, thus, should be utilized strategically in sustainable eating nutrition interventions.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research was supported by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant PON2 035 2000000252, granted between September 2019-2022.

Research in this thesis was also supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P42ES007380, between 2020-2025. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 23, 2025