Pre-Service Teachers’ Perception of Healthy Eating

By: Jon Aoki  

There is an abundance of consumer information about healthy eating. However, it is crucial to describe food and nutrition literacies that individuals rely on to make informed dietary decisions. Trusted sources of health and nutrition information – healthcare professionals and research studies – may dispense contradictory recommendations that hinder consumer dietary choices. Moreover, people often rely on family and friends for guidance on food selection which includes non-evidence based advice. These factors may be contributing to the rise in metabolic diseases in the United States. Several dynamics add to the burgeoning metabolic malaise, but an essential element is poor dietary choices. This study explored the perceptions of healthy eating held by pre-service teachers. Understanding the pre-service teachers’ healthy eating perception and the food and nutrition literacies that underlie dietary decision making is critical because of the influence these teachers will have on their students. Teacher modeling and teaching health content including the selection of nutritious food options may play a role in the battle against childhood obesity and its related metabolic diseases.

"Pre-Service Teachers", " Perceptions", " Healthy Eating"
Food, Nutrition, and Health
Poster/Exhibit Session

Dr. Jon Aoki

Associate Professor, Natural Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, United States
TX, United States

Dr. Aoki is an Associate Professor of Science Education and Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). He is the Coordinator for the Natural Science courses (Life Science Studies, Physical Science Studies, and Earth Science Studies) which are part of the approved educator preparation program at UHD. In addition, Dr. Aoki serves as the College and Career Readiness Initiative UHD Science Faculty Representative and UHD Science Team Leader in Texas. He is actively engaged in science education activities, particularly those that prepare under-represented students for STEM majors and careers as well as programs that enhance the STEM knowledge in practicing teachers. Dr. Aoki’s primary research interest is dietary and physical activity habits of university students in the context of health, food, and physical literacies. Additional interests include passion-based learning, discipline literacy, team-based learning, and small mammal ecology.