Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences


Food preferences; Food--Composition; Health promotion; Food--Labeling


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between participation in work-site Wellness Programs, awareness of and knowledge of the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts Food Label and the task of making healthy food choices. A questionnaire, designed by the researcher, contained questions relating to wellness program participation, use and application of the Food Guide Pyramid, and Nutrition Facts Food Label. A sample one-day menu was used for the task of choosing a healthy diet. These were handed out to 215 randomly selected employees of a company with an ongoing Wellness Program. One-hundred-seventy questionnaires were returned. The data was analyzed using Chi square and Fisher’s Exact Test. A statistically significant positive relationship was found between all three variable and the task of making healthy food choices. The strongest relationship was with participation in Wellness Programs (p value = .02); second strongest was with the Food Guide Pyramid (p value = .029); and the weakest was with the Nutrition Facts Food Label (p value = .03). Mistakes in choosing a healthy diet were made both in underestimating and \ overestimating needs. The food group that was most frequently overestimated was the meat and protein group (71%) while the most underestimated groups were the bread, cereal and grains group (39%) and the milk and dairy group (37%). Both the vegetable group and the fruit group were underestimated as much as overestimated (29% & 18%; 25% & 39% respectively). Only 9 respondents (5%) overestimated the fat and sweets group. The Food Guide Pyramid, the Nutrition Facts food label, and work-site Wellness Programs are all effective tools in teaching healthy food choices; however, they become even more powerful when used in combination. Nutrition educators need to find ways in which to make consumers more aware of these tools and how to apply them in choosing healthy foods.


Includes bibliographical references.


57 pages




Northern Illinois University

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