Fighting health issues through nutrition education for mentally disabled adults

Kristin Bean, California State University, Monterey Bay

Capstone Project (B.A.) Liberal Studies Department


Because mentally disabled adults have the ability to make their own choices about food without having adequate knowledge of healthy nutritional habits, many have a high risk of becoming obese or suffering from malnourishment. My capstone addresses the need for nutrition education for mentally disabled adults through a detailed curriculum implemented over a six week period. The curriculum focuses on the Food Pyramid guidelines, understanding food labels, preparing food at home, eating at restaurants, and taking control of one's health through healthy nutritional habits. The components of the curriculum include lesson plans, helpful resource materials, worksheets, discussion topics, handouts, and ideas for visual aids. Although the curriculum is directed mainly at adults with disabilities, it can be altered to be used in any classroom with any population of students. It is my hope that through the implementation of the curriculum, mentally disabled adults will become more independent, take part in self-care, and feel empowered to lead a healthier life.