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Kristine Melody, Katie Jepperson, & Erica Manternach '11

Influence of eating in a cafeteria on nutritional adequacy of college-aged females

Pre-paid meal plans are more likely to result in better nutritional intakes in elementary and high school students; however, there are few studies on college-aged students. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not consuming at least one meal a day in a college, buffet-style cafeteria improved the nutritional adequacy of participants' diets. College juniors and seniors (92 females ages 20-23) were interviewed regarding dietary intake. Subjects were solicited by going door to door in campus residence halls. Individuals were interviewed to obtain a 24-hour diet recall and asked to complete a survey regarding factors affecting their food choices. Diet records were analyzed to determine students' macro and micronutrient intakes and whether or not they met food group recommendations according to MyPyramid. There was no significant difference in the adequacies of students' diets when comparing intake between those who ate in a cafeteria and those who did not. However, those students who ate in a cafeteria were influenced more by nutrition and tended toward a higher calcium and iron intake whereas those who did not eat in a cafeteria favored convenience over nutrition.

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Influence of eating in a cafeteria on nutritional adequacy of college-aged females

Research Advisor:  Amy Olson, PhD, RDN, LD