University Health Sciences Students’ Perceptions about Environmental Education and Food Carbon Footprint in Turkey
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As environmental issues are growing in the world, there is an urgency for environmental education. Health care itself has been shown to contribute to climate change. In particular, hospitals are highly energy intensive, consume large amounts of resources, and produce a large amount of waste. Personal health benefits arise from more frequent exercise, reduced obesity, the consumption of more plant-based foods. Such personal benefits cause reduced car use, fewer methane-producing ruminants, and fewer hospital admissions from chronic ill health. The purpose of this study is to explore the health sciences undergraduate students’ understandings, practices and ideas about environmental education and food carbon footprint in Turkey. The survey consisted of a total of 27 items. Analyses of quantitative items for the current investigation were conducted using SPSS statistical analysis software. A total of 207 students participated in the study. Eighteen (8.7%) of the participants identified as male, and 189 (91.3%) identified as female. The results showed students’ self-reported environmentally responsible behavior. 73% of the respondents reported themselves as omnivores. Organic foods are preferred by 44% and 0-10% of foods are wasted and thrown away. Thoughts about the environmental impact of foods need to be linked to concerns about health. As a result of this study, there is a clear need to educate health care students to understand the potential to make environmental and climate friendly food choices by adjusting individual food consumption habits.
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