• Perceptions of UAA Culinary Medicine Curriculum by Dietetics Students

      Hillen, Allison Michelle (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-05-01)
      Participation in culinary medicine courses has resulted in significant health benefits to both medical personnel and students taking part in these courses, as well as the patients they subsequently treat. As culinary medicine curriculums are implemented across the country, evaluating outcomes becomes necessary. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate and identify which components of the University of Alaska Anchorage culinary medicine curriculum were most and least beneficial in supporting the achievement of course student learning outcomes (SLOs) and a resulting sense of competency in culinary medicine among students. Determining qualitative outcomes of education and comparing these with expected SLOs helps to further develop the culinary medicine curriculum. Adding to the established literature strengthens the basis for culinary medicine’s expansion. Outcomes indicate that the courses’ major project, the Community Culinary Nutrition Intervention (CCNI), had the greatest impact on the student learning experience. Students’ culinary skills were strengthened as was their creativity. Students experienced what they referred to as an “eye-opening” look at their communities, seeing them in a new light after completing the CCNI. A small study size as well as limited diversity in demographics limit the generalizability of this study. The findings of this study help to inform faculty with making modifications to the existing course framework.