Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-16-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

David H. Holben

Second Advisor

Anne K. Bomba

Third Advisor

Tanya M. Ruetzler

Relational Format



Food insecurity is associated with disordered eating in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) male athletes. This study evaluated the impact of a food education program on youth food security and disordered eating of high school football players in rural, Appalachian Mississippi. A Pre-Post design was utilized. Prospective participants (n=47) were recruited in July, 2019. The 12-week season-long food education program included weekly education with practical food-based sport nutrition principles along with food packages to implement principles at home. Youth food security was measured using Self-administered Youth Food Security Module (Connell, 2004). Disordered eating was measured using 5-item scale (Morgan, Reid, & Lacey, 2000). Change in youth food security was assessed (Pearson Chi-squared). Change in disordered eating score was computed and difference in disordered eating between food secure and food insecure participants was assessed (independent t-test). Participants (n=26/47, 55.3%) completed both the pre- and post-surveys and were: 1) males 16.01.2 years; 2) African American (n=17/26, 65.4%), White (n=8/26, 30.8%), and other (n=1/26, 3.8%); 3) Hispanic (n=1/24, 4.2%); and 4) enrolled in ninth (n=5/26, 19.2%), tenth (n=3/26, 11.5%), eleventh (10/26, 38.5%), or twelfth (n=8/26, 30.8%) grades. Pre youth food security was: food secure (n=21/26, 80.8%) and food insecure (n=5/26, 19.2%), and post youth food security was food secure (n=24/26, 92.3%) and food insecure (n=2, 7.7%). Youth food security significantly changed from pre to post (p=.003). At pre and post, respectively, 1/26 (3.8%) and 3/26 (11.5%) had a disordered eating score consistent with disordered eating. Yet, disordered eating score did not significantly change from pre to post by youth food security (p=.779). Food education program improves youth food security of rural high school football players.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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