For optimal growth and development during the teens, there needs to be sufficient intake of food to meet the nutritional requirements. Pregnancy during that time increases the nutritional needs. Studies have shown that teenage girls generally have poor eating habits, not meeting the nutritional requirements.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether special nutrition education classes would improve eating habits of a group of pregnant teenagers. Case studies were used as the method to report the findings. A health education class in a special day program for pregnant girls was used as the setting for this study. The study extended over a six-week period, with the nutrition education classes lasting two and one-half weeks. The classes were planned and presented by the researcher. Testing was done before and after the classes to determine changes in the eating habits of nine subjects, ages fifteen to nineteen. Twenty-four-hour recall diet histories, recordings of snack items, and lunch observations, based on their use of the four food groups, were used for evaluating eating habits. Each girl was used as her own control, and the information obtained was reported as a case study of each subject.

From the data obtained, the nutrition education classes appeared to have little positive effect upon eating habits. The tests revealed that in some areas the classes had a negative effect. In some subjects, there was an increase in the use of the four food groups after the classes, but there were more who showed a decrease in their use. The subjects were consistently too low in their use of items in the milk group, the meat group, and the fruit and vegetable group. Fatty foods, and "empty calorie" foods were used less frequently after the classes by most of the subjects, which was considered the most positive result observed in the study. The nutrition education classes consisted of a variety of activities, and it appeared they responded more positively to classes which included activities such as nutrition games than to classes which used lectures or movies.

A conclusion from this study is that eating habits are difficult to change over a short period of time. It would be best to have nutrition education incorporated into all aspects of education throughout childhood, instead of having short blocks of time for teaching the subject.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Clarice W. Woodward

Second Advisor

Ruth Munroe

Third Advisor

Joyce W. Hopp

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Nutrition -- in pregnancy; Pregnancy in Adolescence



Page Count

vi; 135

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives