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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Angela Adams Nutritional Sciences Haley Tullos Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 1; 2nd Floor; Table Number: 1

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Background: Nutrition plays a vital role in disease prevention and health promotion; however, few health professions curriculums provide adequate nutrition education. The Culinary Medicine program (CM) was developed at Tulane University Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine in 2012 to train health professions students about nutrition and healthy eating practices. Students also participate in a 10-year longitudinal study (Cooking for Health Optimization with Patients, CHOP) to assess learning outcomes.
Objective: Assess outcomes of a CM course for improving nutrition and dietary competencies of health professions students.
Design: Cohort of 77 medical and 13 physician assistant students (57/female; 33/male) from University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) and Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM).
Methods: The CM curriculum was first offered in Fort Worth, TX in 2014 and taught by faculty from UNTHSC, TCOM, Texas Christian University (TCU) and Moncrief Cancer Institute. During 2016-2018, students participating in the CM course were assessed using the 4-part CHOP survey including demographics, attitudes, dietary habits, and degree of proficiency in competencies related to nutrition/dietary knowledge and application. Study procedures were approved by TCU IRB, and informed consent was obtained. Data were analyzed to meet study objectives (SPSS, p<0.05).
Results: Results showed that students who participated in the CM course reported greater proficiency in their ability to inform patients about nutrition/dietary competencies: (1) health effects of the Mediterranean, Dash, and low fat diets; (2) weight loss strategies, portion control, food label facts and serving sizes; (3) dietary practices for type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, and food allergies; (4) role of dietary cholesterol/saturated fats in blood lipids; (5) recognizing warning signs/symptoms for eating disorders; and (6) role of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in disease prevention and heart health (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Study results underline the value of dietetics educators providing innovative learning opportunities that integrate nutrition into training for health professions students.

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Determining Level of Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet by Individuals Living in the United States

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Stephanie Cowart Nutritional Sciences Rachel Seguin Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 1; 2nd Floor; Table Number: 3

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S. Cowart,1 R. Seguin,1 A. VanBeber PhD, RD, LD, FAND1; L. Dart, PhD, RD, LD1;
1Texas Christian University

Learning Outcome: To determine how closely components of the Mediterranean Diet are followed by individuals living in the United States.

Learning Needs Codes:
Primary: 3020 Assessment of Target Groups
Secondary: 4040 Disease Prevention

Background: Research indicates those who follow a diet and lifestyle resembling the Mediterranean Diet have lower chronic disease risk.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine how closely the Mediterranean Diet was followed by individuals living in the United States and to analyze correlations between dietary patterns and chronic disease risk.

Design: This un-blinded, randomized trial was approved by Texas Christian University IRB. Participants were recruited via social media, email/text messaging, and in-person communication. Following informed consent, participants completed an online questionnaire through Survey Monkey™. Analyses assessed consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, legumes, animal protein, nuts, water, and red wine compared to Mediterranean Diet Score recommendations.

Methods: Data were analyzed using SPSS (p<0.05) and (p<0.01), and frequency distributions and correlations were analyzed for trends in adherence to Mediterranean Diet and USDA dietary recommendations.

Results: Participants included 258 females and males (86% and 14%, respectively). Sixty-nine percent identified as Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 10% other ethnicity, and 13% reported chronic disease diagnosis. High school diploma was the highest education earned by 13% of participants; 28% obtained some college, and 59% received a bachelor’s degree or higher. Forty-six percent were married; 41% were single. A strong inverse relationship existed between age and physical activity, with participants ages 18-34 years reporting greater physical activity compared to participants >35 years old (r=-.131; p=0.05). With participants who performed >30-60 minutes physical activity/day, a positive relationship existed with greater consumption of vegetables and fruits (r=.200; p=0.05). Results also indicated only 36% of participants consumed the Mediterranean Diet Score recommendations for >2-3 cups vegetables/day, and only 22% consumed the recommended >2 cups fruit/day.

Conclusions: To lower chronic disease risk in the United States, nutrition education efforts should focus on importance of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and greater adherence to Mediterranean Diet principles.

Funding Source: N/A
Word Count: 296
Key Contact: Anne VanBeber RD, LD, PhD, FAND,

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The Effect of Knowledge, Behaviors and Attitudes towards Dietary Fatty Acids on BLood Lipid Levels

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Amber Deckard Nutritional Sciences Cassidy Shabay Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Jada Stevenson Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 2; Basement; Table Number: 5

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Learning Outcome: Provide education about the knowledge, behaviors and attitudes individuals have towards dietary fatty acids.

Background: Research has shown a strong relationship between dietary fatty acids (FAs) and their impact on blood cholesterol. Few studies have examined knowledge, behaviors and attitudes (KBA) towards dietary FAs impact on blood lipid levels.
Objective: To determine: 1) KBA of FAs using the modified General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire (GNKQ); and 2) correlations between anthropometric data, GNKQ responses and blood lipid levels.
Design: This study utilized a cross-sectional research design.
Methods: Upon IRB approval, 104 women ages 18-40yr consented and completed the modified GNKQ via Qualtrics®. The GNKQ consisted of 42 questions and took approximately 15min to complete. Additionally, a subset of nine women also were instructed to fast for 12-15hrs prior to testing at the Obesity Prevention Laboratory at TCU. Height (cm), weight (kg), BMI (kg/m2), waist-to-hip ratio were recorded. Next, a fasting blood sample (5mL) was obtained. The blood samples were sent to AnyLabTestNow® (Fort Worth, Texas) for a lipid panel. Results were analyzed via IBM SPSS® (Statistics Version 25.0. Armonk, NY). Significance was set at p<0.05.
Results: More than 80% of participants were aware of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated FAs, but only 33.3% were able to identify their proper food sources. Of the survey responses, approximately 1.9% demonstrated poor knowledge (answered 0-11 questions correctly), 54.3% moderate knowledge (12-23 questions correctly), and 43.8% strong knowledge (24-34 questions correctly). 100% of lipid panel participants had normal total cholesterol and HDL levels. Risk ratio (LDL/HDL) and weight showed a strong positive correlation (p=0.004, r=0.846**).
Conclusion: Despite self-reported awareness, participants lack knowledge of dietary FAs. The subset results showed strong correlation between risk ratio and weight representing the relationship between weight and lipid levels. Overall, more research should ensue with a larger sample.

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A Model for Implementing a Food Recovery Program at the University Level

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Lexi Endicott Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Jada Stevenson Nutritional Sciences Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 1; 2nd Floor; Table Number: 4

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Background: Over 42 million Americans face food insecurity (FI). Simultaneously, approximately 40% of food produced in the U.S. is wasted. Where FI and food waste (FW) coexist, it is necessary to develop and implement programs to decrease the negative consequences caused by these issues.
Objective: The objective of this study was to create a standardized model for implementing a student-led food recovery program (FRP) for other universities to access and utilize. The secondary objective was to measure the effectiveness of the FRP at TCU.
Researchers hypothesized that by incorporating the FRP into the dietetics program, the FRP would achieve program sustainability and enhance dietetic students’ knowledge of FI and FW.
Design: This study utilized a mixed methods study design.
Methods: Over three academic semesters, researchers observed the overall operations of the FRP at TCU. Researchers collected quantitative data on food types (i.e. vegetables, grains, proteins, mixed), quantities (pounds), and raw food costs ($). Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with nutrition and dietetics students, foodservice personnel, and faculty and analyzed interview transcriptions for prevalent theme codes. A codebook was created based on frequently identified phrases, and themes were extracted. Participants provided written consent. This project received IRB approval.
Results: Over 12,700 pounds of food were recovered during the study period. By weight, protein-containing foods were the most recovered type of food (~5700 lbs.), followed by grains (~2900 lbs.), vegetables (~2100 lbs.), and mixed foods (~2000 lbs.). Five major themes were extracted from interviews; all respondents identified the FRP as a meaningful and practical program.
Conclusions: FRP offers a sustainable solution for benefitting the environment, combating FI, and providing dietetics students with experience working with FI and FW. Efforts should be made to incorporate a FRP at the university level, and a dietetics program may offer an effective means to achieve this integration.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Jade Frederickson Nutritional Sciences Ginny Ho Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences Brooke Helms Interdisciplinary Jada Stevenson Nutritional Sciences Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 2; Basement; Table Number: 1

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Background: Athletes increasingly skip meals because they lack time or knowledge to prepare their own meals; mobile applications have been proposed as a potential solution to this problem. Adherence to mobile app tracking may vary, but self-motivation and nutrition knowledge has been shown to increase chances of behavior change while using an app.
Objective: Determine if female college athletes’ nutrition/fueling behaviors changed over four weeks by utilizing a mobile application for tracking fueling practices.
Design: Pilot study with cohort of 17 female TCU NCAA Beach Volleyball athletes.
Methods: Pre and post-study questionnaires examined attitudes toward mobile applications, dietary behaviors, and frequency of fueling habits. Athletes also attended a pre-study training session about utilizing the Eat2Win app. Data analyses included recorded frequency of application usage and logged meals per/day plus impact on dietary behaviors/fueling habits. Study procedures were approved by TCU IRB. Participant informed consent was obtained. Data were analyzed to meet study objectives (SPSS, p<0.05).
Results: Most athletes (82%) disliked using the Eat2Win app, where app usage decreased from 88% in week one to 18% app usage at the completion of the study. Reasons for the pronounced decrease in usage included frequent app crashes, too time consuming, and limited phone storage space. Additionally, results did not show improvement in athletes’ eating habits with app usage. Although pre-study results showed 42% of athletes did not consistently eat breakfast and/or eat/drink something every 3-4 hours, those athletes who reported greater frequency of eating breakfast and/or every 3-4 hours or refueling one hour after practice, maintained consistent positive eating behaviors throughout the study. These same athletes also reported greater energy levels overall (r=.671; p=0.01).
Conclusions: Study results emphasize the importance of implementing user-friendly mobile apps for athletes that are time-use efficient and offers calorie-counting and picture logging functions to promote change in dietary and refueling practices.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Ali Kiefer Nutritional Sciences Macy Essman Nutritional Sciences Chris Villalpando Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 1; 2nd Floor; Table Number: 2

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Background: More than 66% of American adults are overweight or obese. Sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are a primary source of added calories and may promote weight gain.
Methods: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board. A random sample of college students provided informed consent before completing an electronic survey that included questions to determine participants’ demographics, self-reported height, weight, physical activity level, total beverage intake, health perceptions, and factors affecting beverage choices. Beverage kcals and intake were determined using the validated BEVQ15 Beverage Questionnaire.
Results: Participants (N=103) were 19.6+/-1.9 years of age with a healthy mean BMI of 23.3+/-3.7. Almost 70% (n=48) had a healthy BMI, ~25% (n=17) were overweight, 6% (n=4) were obese, ~81% (n=83) reported that they were lightly to very active, and 5% (n=5) reported that they were sedentary. Average beverage kcals/day (BKD) was 180.8+/-156.2 and ranged from 0-795 BKD. Among participants (n=75) that completed the BevQ15, 33% (n=26) consumed <100 BKD, 47% (n=35) consumed 100-<300 BKD, and 19% (n=14) consumed > 300 BKD. Normal BMI participants consumed 191 BKD, overweight participants consumed 204 BKD and obese participants consumed 69 beverage BKD. There was no significant correlation between BMI and BKD. Three primary factors which contributed to beverage choices were taste, quenching thirst, and health reported by 54% (n=55), 46% (n=47) and 44% (n=45), respectively. The factors health and calorie content were correlated (r=.23, p<0.05).
Conclusion: Participants had an average healthy BMI and were active. No significant correlations were detected between BMI and BKD. Obese participants consumed fewer BKD than healthy and overweight participants. This lower BKD contribution may be a method used to lose weight. Although calorie content was less frequently cited as a primary factor of beverage choices, participants that identified health as a determining factor were more likely to consider calorie content.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Noel McKnight Nutritional Sciences Caroline Green Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 2; Basement; Table Number: 4

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Background: Americans’ choice in caffeinated beverages, consumption amounts, and frequency of consumption varies depending on factors like age, demographics, education level, and social status. Caffeine has shown to increase energy, alertness, attentiveness, and sociability. Research shows that the amount of caffeine consumed by adolescents has increased 70% in the past 30 years.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between the onset of coffee consumption, amount of current coffee consumption, and personal well-being. It was hypothesized that an earlier onset of coffee consumption would have a positive correlation to increased coffee consumption and a negative effect on personal well-being later in life.
Methods/Design: An online survey was administered to college students, age 18-24. Participants were recruited via social media. The survey assessed participants’ history of coffee consumption, current coffee consumption, and perception of impact on appetite, mental status, mood, sleep patterns, and overall health. Data was entered into SPSS after survey responses were collected.
Results: Upon surveying participants (N=95), there were strong positive correlations (p<0.01) between the onset of coffee consumption, amount consumed at onset, and current consumption level. Notably, onset of coffee consumption was likely to occur during significant academic years, such as the first year of college (15.8%, n=15) and first year of high school (13.7%, n=13). Approximately 67% (n=64) reported consuming 1-2 cups/day at onset of consumption. Additionally, 52.6% (n=50) report that coffee consumption benefits their overall mood, while 41.1% (n=39) claim it has no effect on overall health and well-being.
Conclusions: The onset of coffee consumption is commonly seen in times of change, such as significant academic years. Consequently, participants also agreed that caffeine consumption benefits their mood above other qualities surveyed. Further research relating to other types of caffeinated beverages and foods would provide more conclusive results about onset and wellbeing.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Kendall Peddie Nutritional Sciences Claire Koskie Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 2; Basement; Table Number: 3

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Background: Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to use energy in food. Diabetes impacts more than 170 million people worldwide. Previous research suggests that people with diabetes report feeling stigmatized and that there is a lack of understanding by the public.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the level of diabetes knowledge among college students and their perception of people with diabetes. It was hypothesized that there is a lack of diabetes education among this group and that they would have an overall negative perception of people with diabetes.
Methods: An online survey was developed which assessed participants’ knowledge of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and stigmas associated with the condition. Participants were recruited via email and social media. Data was analyzed using SPSS.
Results: Upon surveying participants (N=126), the majority reported knowing someone with Type 1 (63%; n=78) and/or Type 2 Diabetes (53%; n=67). Knowledge of someone with diabetes was strongly correlated with overall diabetes knowledge (p≤0.01). Approximately 63% (n=78) of respondents believe there is a stigma associated with diabetes. Reasons for the stigma include lack of diabetes education (63%; n=78) and negative portrayal of diabetes in the media (52%; n=65). There was a strong correlation (p≤0.01) between diabetes knowledge and whether or not respondents had a negative perception of people with diabetes.
Conclusions: Though the respondents reported that a stigma exists, a low percentage of respondents reported having negative perceptions of people with diabetes. This finding may be attributed to the large number of participants who knew people with diabetes, number of participants in health related majors, or those who had taken a college-level nutrition course. Future research could mitigate these variables by excluding participants in health-related majors or those who have had extensive education on the subject.

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The Effects of Parents' Perceptions of Food on Children's Eating Habits Later in Life

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Dalia Shelton Nutritional Sciences Charlie Tapken Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences
Location: Session: 2; Basement; Table Number: 2

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Background: Much of the research associated with eating patterns of adolescents or young adults has been related to genetics, weight gain associated with parental influence of food selection, and children’s food choices relative to their parent’s desires. There is little research conducted on children’s perceptions of their parent’s food choices and how those beliefs correlate to their own dietary choices later in life.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether parents’ perceptions of food had an effect on their children’s eating behaviors later in life. The hypothesis was that the food-related behaviors and beliefs of the parents strongly influence the child’s future dietary choices and lifelong relationship with food.
Methods: An online survey was developed that consisted of questions regarding student’s perceptions of their parents’ dietary choices and their own current dietary choices and beliefs. Researchers recruited participants via email and social media. Data was analyzed using SPSS.
Results: Among survey participants (N=158) there was a significant correlation (p<0.01) between the parent’s past eating behaviors and child’s current eating behaviors for several dietary patterns, including vegan, low carbohydrate, calorie counting and gluten free. Approximately 42% (n=66) of respondents reported that they were made aware of their weight at a young age. There was a strong correlation (p<0.01) between parents discussing weight and discouraging attempts to try new foods.
Conclusions: There was a significant correlation between the way that children view diet and nutrition and how their parents view diet and nutrition, as perceived by the children. Parents’ specific eating behaviors and discussions about weight also correlate with their children’s current eating behaviors and awareness of weight, although they may not currently live together. For more conclusive results, future research on the subject should also include data regarding parents’ perspective of their own food choices and beliefs.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Nicholle Benedict Nutritional Sciences Chandler Bourff Nutritional Sciences Maria Martinez Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences

Background: To replace milk fats and eggs commonly found in ice cream, vegan varieties substitute with vegetable fats and/or pureed fruits. Vegan ingredient substitutions for ice cream must contain similar structural components to milk fat to preserve the expected texture/mouthfeel of the product. The purposes of this study were 1) to measure university students’ preferences and sensory ratings of vegan ice cream substitutions and 2) to identify which ingredients act as the best replacements.

Methods: 54 students enrolled in one of two TCU Nutritional Sciences (NTDT) courses participated in this single-blind, cross-sectional study. Subjects completed sensory evaluation of three homemade vegan ice creams containing different structural/flavor components. Sample A included coffee, cashews, and coconut cream; B used coconut cream and dates, and C contained coconut milk. Evaluations took place on two separate occasions in the NTDT Laboratory Kitchens. Flavor, sweetness, texture, mouthfeel, eye appeal, color, and overall rating of vegan ingredient substitutions for ice cream recipes were assessed. Sensory criteria responses were analyzed using SPSS XIX. Frequency distributions, ANOVAs, correlations, and descriptive statistics were determined to meet study objectives (p≤0.05). Protocol was approved by the TCU IRB.

Results: 53% of participants preferred the flavor of sample A, 42% of participants reported that sample B was the preferred flavor, and sample C received the lowest overall acceptability rating, with 73% of the participants disliking the flavor. More than 50% of participants stated sample A was most similar to traditionally-prepared non-vegan ice cream, and 78% of participants stated that they would consume these ice creams outside of the study.

Conclusions: Acceptable vegan ice cream fat substitutes are available. Cashew, coconut cream, dates, and coffee contributed to the rich flavors, creamy textures, and overall desirable sensory qualities in samples A and B. Coconut milk, utilized in sample C, contributed to an undesirable and unacceptable crystallized texture.

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The Transformation of Views and Knowledge of Plant-Based Diets of University Students Throughout the Course of Education and Exposure

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Alby Bounlutay Nutritional Sciences Jane Speaker Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences

Background: Research indicates individuals who follow plant-based diets make healthier food choices and have less chronic disease than those consuming the Standard American Diet. It is hypothesized that Texas Christian University (TCU) students have limited knowledge and/or exposure to vegan/plant-based lifestyles and diets. The purpose of this study was to determine whether knowledge level and attitudes/beliefs of vegan/plant-based diets/lifestyle changed with exposure and newly-gained knowledge in a semester-long three-hour course.

Methods: Subjects included 23 junior/senior multidisciplinary TCU students (56%/female; 44%/male) enrolled in a course about plant-based diets and lifestyles. Students completed a pre-assessment questionnaire on the first day of class before exposure to any content regarding vegan/plant-based diets and lifestyles. Students completed a post-assessment questionnaire at semester end to ascertain if changes in attitudes/knowledge/beliefs regarding vegan/plant-based diets and lifestyles changed over time with exposure and newly-gained subject knowledge in the course. Data was analyzed using SPSS (p<0.05).

Results: Prior to starting the course, 13% of students reported they were vegetarians, and 83% typically consumed animal protein in their diets (p=0.01); more students in health-related disciplines noted having friends/family members who followed vegan diets (p=0.01). Pre-assessment results showed that female students were more knowledgeable than male students about plant-based diets/veganism (p=0.01); whereas, post-assessment knowledge scores showed no differences among gender. Overall, post-assessment scores improved for all students in the following categories: reasons why people choose veganism, acceptable foods for vegans, nutrients at risk for vegans, availability of vegan ready-to-eat foods/grocery store and restaurant meals, and risk for chronic disease of vegans vs. people who consume animal products (p=0.01).

Conclusions: Students majoring in the sciences and nursing/health sciences possessed greater knowledge about vegan/plant-based diets/lifestyles than their counterparts majoring in other subjects. Although level of prior knowledge varied among all students, exposure to the topic through a vegan/plant-based studies course increased knowledge of participants.

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Nutrition Education and Sensory Evaluation Influence Preferences for Peanut and Alternative Nut/Seed Butters

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Greg Carr Nutritional Sciences Colton Galbreaith Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences

Peanut butter is an all-American staple in nine out of 10 households. It’s estimated that each U.S. youth consumes an average of 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time he/she graduates from high school. Although, the popularity of peanut butter alternatives such as tree nuts/seed butters has grown in recent years due to their rich source of nutrients, peanut butter continues to be the “nut butter” of choice for most people. This may be due to lack of knowledge about the health benefits of different nut/seed butters and/or lack of exposure to these products.

The purpose of this study was to examine if taste-testing and increased awareness about the health benefits of tree nut/seed butters would influence their consumption among university students. 52 students enrolled in a multi-disciplinary introductory nutrition course participated in this single-blind, cross-sectional study. Participants completed a pre-study questionnaire identifying key nutritional benefits of peanut and alternative tree nuts/seeds butters and typical consumption of each. Following education about the nutrient content of peanuts compared to cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds, participants taste-tested and evaluated a sample butter of each and completed a post-study questionnaire. Study procedures were approved by university IRB, and participants responses and sensory rankings were analyzed to meet study objectives (SPSS; p<0.05).

Significant improvement in pre and post-study knowledge of nutrient content in nut/seed butters was noted (p=0.01). Sensory evaluation showed that preferences for peanut butter were highest among participants, followed by almond butter and cashew butter. Sunflower seed butter was least preferred (p=0.01). Taste, color, and texture/mouthfeel sensory rankings correlated with overall acceptability for each sample (p=0.05). Following sensory evaluation, preferences for consuming almond butter increased by 38% compared to pre-tasting responses (p=0.01).

Education and sensory evaluation are both important strategies for enhancing awareness of health benefits and acceptability of peanut butter alternatives.

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The Relationship Between Probiotic Comsumption and Immunity in College Students Ages 18-24

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Colleen Coffey Nutritional Sciences Claire Sorrels Nutritional Sciences Grace Williams Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences

Background: Among the many benefits associated with the consumption of probiotics, modulation of the immune system has recently received the most attention. Previously, researchers and scientists thought that the use of probiotics only improved the gastrointestinal tract, thereby aiding digestion. However, there is now evidence to support that intake of probiotics is effective in the prevention and/or management of many gastrointestinal diseases plus modulating immune functions in a person with normal immunological status and microbiota.
Methods: An online survey regarding knowledge of foods containing probiotics, consumption of these foods, frequency of probiotic supplementation, and recent illness was developed to determine the relationship between probiotic intake and immune health among college students. Researchers recruited Texas Christian University students through e-mail and social media. Once the target number of participants (>150) responded to the survey, data was analyzed using SPSS.
Results: Upon surveying participants (N=157), 58% (n=91) of respondents reported that they did not take a probiotic supplement, while 19.8% (n=31) reported taking a supplement every day or ≥3-4 times/week. There was a strong correlation between those who reported frequent probiotic supplementation and lower incidence of strep throat (p<0.01), lower incidence of nausea and vomiting (p<0.01), and lower incidence of constipation (p<0.05). There was also a correlation between the consumption of certain foods containing probiotics, yogurt specifically, and illness frequency, notably, lower incidence of fever (p<0.01) and cold (p<0.05).
Conclusions: There is a significant correlation between the consumption of probiotic supplements and positive effects with certain illnesses, but some foods containing probiotics show opposite or negligible results. For more conclusive results, further research should be conducted with controlled variables to determine the relationship between illness and intake of probiotic supplements versus probiotic-containing foods.

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Fad Diet or Exercise? Maintaining Weight among Millennials

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Leigh Mattson Nutritional Sciences Katie Shamoon Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences

Background: Research indicates Millennials are more concerned about having healthy eating habits than following fad diets, and they exercise more than their Baby Boomer counterparts. The purposes of this study were 1) to determine reasons university students follow fad diets, and 2) to determine other methods students utilize for weight management.
Methods: In this un-blinded, randomized trial approved by TCU IRB, participants completed an online research questionnaire after providing informed consent. Population included 236 TCU male and female students, 18-22 years old. Analyses assessed students’ history of fad dieting and outcomes, perceived health status based on body weight and image, eating and exercise habits, and incidence of lifestyle practices such as smoking and alcohol use. Data was analyzed using SPSS (p<0.05). Frequency distributions and correlations were analyzed for trends in health maintenance behaviors.
Results: Participants self-identified as 76% females, 85% white, 6% Hispanic, and 4% other ethnicity. Only 32% of participants had followed a fad diet (p=0.01). Participants who followed fad diets included 30% Paleolithic®, 23% Gluten-Free®, 20% Weight Watchers®, and 14% Atkins®. Of those who followed the respective diets, 58% did not achieve desired results and reported feeling tired, had no change in health status, experienced temporary weight loss, and always felt hungry, and 56% of participants answered “no” when asked if fad diets work. Of those who followed a fad diet, 40% would not follow one again. Results also show a strong relationship between females and healthy eating habits, pressure to be a certain weight, and perceiving themselves to be a normal weight (p=0.01). Finally, weight loss behavior results show that 97% of participants exercise, while only 57% consciously eat less, and 55% count calories (p=0.01).
Conclusions: University students who followed fad diets experienced temporary or adverse results. Exercise was preferred rather than dieting to maintain weight.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Petra Rack Nutritional Sciences Hannah Post Nutritional Sciences Abby Read Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences

Background: Up to 40% of food produced in America is wasted each year. Meanwhile over 42 million Americans are food insecure. The purposes of this study were to 1) identify contributing factors to local restaurant food waste, 2) describe barriers to restaurant food donations, and 3) describe barriers to donation acceptance by shelter employees.
Methods: Two electronic surveys were distributed to either local restaurant managers/owners or to employees involved in food donation acceptance in local shelters/kitchens following phone calls and/or personal visits by researchers to facilities. Data were coded into and analyzed using SPSS.
Results: There was a 17% (N=12/72) and 100% (N=14/14) response rate for restaurants and shelters requested to participate, respectively. While only 16% (N=2) of restaurant survey respondents (RSR) were concerned about food waste in their establishments, all RSR (N=12) agreed that reducing food waste in their facilities was important. Over 83% (N=10) reported having successful food waste prevention measures in their restaurants. There was a positive correlation with report of presence of prevention measures and knowledge of the Good Samaritan Act (r=.67, p<0.05). Approximately 42% (N=5) of RSR reported they would be interested in connecting with local shelters to donate food and also agreed that liability is a barrier to safe food donations.  Among shelter respondents, 81% (N=9) agreed that their facilities would benefit from excess restaurant food donations.
Conclusion: Although all RSR agreed that food waste prevention measures were important, the majority were not concerned about food waste in their facilities. Due to the overall poor response rates among restaurant owners/managers, the RSR in this survey may represent a segment that were more interested in food waste and more likely to respond to the survey.  The majority of respondents of both surveys agreed that partnering with restaurants and shelters for safe excess food donation was desirable.
Word count: 297

Funding Source: None

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The Correlation Between the Addition of a Condiment and Plate Waste in an Elementary School Meal Program Serving Students Ages 5-12

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Samantha Lane Nutritional Sciences Sarah Timmer Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences

Background: There have been many food waste studies done in elementary schools around the country. Several studies have determined that main entrées contribute significantly to plate waste in elementary school food programs, but studies relating the use of condiments and their influence on food waste need further exploration.
Objectives: Determine the correlation between the addition of condiments and the amount of plate waste from a chicken entrée.
Methods: In Phase I, data was collected in an elementary afterschool meal program. Researchers evaluated plate waste for the chicken entrée once a week for a total of four weeks. Chicken entrée plate waste was evaluated by weight and visual assessment. The waste weight was compared to the weight of one serving of the chicken entrée. A photograph of the total plate waste was taken each week for visual comparison. Researchers compared the total number of servings prepared to the number of servings leftover. In Phase II of the study a condiment (ketchup) was added to the menu when the chicken entrée was served. A marketing campaign was implemented with flyers to advertise the addition of the condiment. For the remaining four weeks, plate waste was documented using the same methods utilized during Phase I.
Results: In Phase I, an average of 26.7% of chicken entrées was wasted. In Phase II, an average of 20.8% of chicken entrées was wasted. No statistically significant difference was found in the percentage of food leftover between Phase I and Phase II (p<0.06). After adjusting for differences in initial portion size, there was still no statistically significant difference in weight of entrée left over (p<0.3).
Conclusion: Though there was no significant difference, the amount of waste is large enough to draw attention to the problem of waste in school foodservice. More research is necessary to determine what factors are leading to food waste.

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