Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.S. in Food and Nutrition Services

First Advisor

Kathy Knight

Second Advisor

Younghoon Kim

Third Advisor

Laurel Lambert

Abstract

Students transitioning to university life face numerous challenges including the problem of making healthy dietary choices. Sorority members are uniquely suited to examining dietary habits because of their access to regular planned meals and because of the social stresses they experience in regards to body image. Menus are not required to follow nutrient specific guidelines and the nutrient content of sorority meals has not been evaluated at the University of Mississippi. The purpose of this study is to analyze nutrient content of sorority meals and determine if members are able to obtain adequate amounts of nutrients from the foods offered. A menu analysis was performed in three representative sorority houses at the University of Mississippi. All meals offered during one week (14 meals per house, 42 meals total) were analyzed for nutrient content using the Nutrition Data Systems for Research (NDSR) software. Descriptive statistics were used to express results and percent differences were calculated. Non-parametric statistics were used to compare means of nutrient values. The study protocol was approved by the University Institutional Review Board. The menu analysis showed that each meal offered amounts of nutrients that exceeded daily nutrient recommendations for members. Averaged totals and percent difference calculations revealed no nutritional deficiencies. Averages calculated according to meals showed breakfast as the highest calorie meal and the salad bar offering the greatest fat content. Dinner was shown to be the most nutritionally balanced meal. Beverages were also shown to be a large contributor of calories and carbohydrates in sorority meals. The amounts of all nutrients of each sorority meal exceeded the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for members. The numerous food items offered at each meal inflated results of nutrient analysis. The considerable amount and variety of food items reveals that members have the opportunity to make healthy choices from sorority meals. Training on menu planning and quantity food production for house directors and nutrition education for members may help promote healthier sorority meals.

Included in

Nutrition Commons

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