Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type



College of Nursing

Director of Thesis

Victoria Davis

Second Reader

Kate Chappell



Nurses are most directly involved with patient care and are in an excellent position to be patient educators. Patients are more likely to actively listen after establishing rapport, especially for loaded topics such as lifestyle choices. While nurses have general nutrition knowledge, they may lack current, scientifically-based information to help patients implement a healthy diet. Nurses can both educate and be an example of health habits that patients should emulate, and therefore need to be adequately informed about topics like dietary misconceptions.


The purpose of this project is to provide current evidence-based information regarding dietary misconceptions to nurses to accurately inform their patients. Popular dietary misconceptions were examined to correct the knowledge deficit.


An evidence review using CINAHL was performed to find accurate scientifically-based information about dietary misconceptions with a focus on sugar, dairy, hydration, and healthy eating patterns. The review found advances in research around each of these misconceptions.


The review found research has been conducted in all four focus areas. The addictive properties of sugar appear complex and the quantity of sugar has a greater effect than the form. Regarding dairy, calcium intake and weight loss have a positive correlation and yogurt with probiotics benefits digestive regulation. Varying recommendations for daily hydration were found but with minimal scientific basis. There is inconclusive evidence about the benefits of one eating pattern, such as skipping breakfast, over another.


Accurate, up-to-date information regarding dietary misconceptions is available. Nurses have a professional obligation to remain current and translate this information to patients to promote healthy decision making. Individual needs and preferences should also be considered by the nurse to empower the patient’s healthiest life.

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