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Prevalence and Associated Factors of Food Insecurity Among College Students

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Maddie Jacobs Nutritional Sciences Kelly Fisher Nutritional Sciences Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences Kristi Jarman Mathematics
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences Kelly Fisher Nutritional Sciences
Location: Basement, Table 5, Position 3, 11:30-1:30


Maddie Jacobs; Gina Hill, PhD, RD, LD; Kelly Fisher, DCN, RD, LD; Kristi Jarman, PhD

Background - The USDA defines food insecurity (FI) as when individuals lack the resources to obtain food in socially acceptable ways. According to the USDA, 10.2% of the U.S. population was food insecure in 2021. According to current literature, university campuses have an average of 36% FI. There are limited studies regarding FI at private universities, likely because FI is assumed to be low.

Objective – This study aimed to identify the rate and distribution of FI at a private university in North Texas and to analyze the demographic, socio-economic, and other factors associated with FI among college students.

Design – In this cross-sectional study, participants completed a one-time online survey.

Methods – The survey included sociodemographic questions and the validated USDA Adult Food Security Survey Module to measure FI status among current university students >18 years of age. Ordinal logistic regression, based on the Proportional Odds model, was conducted to determine the association between FI and sociodemographic variables.

Results – The majority of participants were white (82%, n=288), non-Hispanic (83%, n=293), and women (77%, n=271) with a mean age of 22.5±6.6. Of the 353 participants in the study, 22.4% (n=79) were classified as food insecure and 9.6% (n=34) were classified as having very low food security with evidence of reduced intake and disrupted eating patterns. Participants who were underclassmen (p=0.029), receiving more financial aid (p=0.016), international (p=0.081), Hispanic/Latinx (p=0.478), and older (p=0.283) were more likely to have greater FI. Among the food insecure participants, 30.4% (n=24) were aware of resources to obtain food on or near campus.

Conclusions - More research is needed regarding FI at private universities. However, this study provides sufficient data to take action to address FI by means of advocacy, dissemination of resource information, and the addition of new resources, such as an on-campus food pantry.

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Food Sensitivity Testing in Children: A Case Study and Narrative Review

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Kelly Jaimes Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Kelly Fisher Nutritional Sciences Heidi Conrad Chemistry & Biochemistry Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences
Location: Third Floor, Table 1, Position 3, 11:30-1:30

Despite the significant prevalence of food intolerances in children and adolescents (2 to 18-year olds), food intolerance mechanisms and testing is severely misunderstood and under researched. A food intolerance is a non-immunological response that occurs after consuming a specific food particle causing gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The lack of understanding of food intolerances is causing too many children to unnecessarily follow unsupervised elimination diets which increases the risk of developing nutrient deficiencies. The objectives of this study were to demonstrate the serious impact to the quality of life (QOL) that food intolerances have towards children and adolescents by analyzing available literature and utilizing a case study participant. Findings suggested that there must be more research done to understand food intolerance to improve the QOL in children and adolescents.

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The Effect of Registered Dietitians on Quality of Life, Eating, and Nutrition Knowledge of Adults with Eating Disorders

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Sarah Jennings Nutritional Sciences Kelly Fisher, DCN, RD, LD Nutritional Sciences Gina Jarman Hill, PhD, RD, LD Nutritional Sciences Kristi Jarman, PhD Mathematics
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences Meredith Curtis, PhD Biology Kelly Fisher Nutritional Sciences Kristi Jarman, PhD Mathematics
Location: Basement, Table 7, Position 2, 11:30-1:30

Background: Eating disorders (EDs) can lead to decreased quality of life (QOL), medical complications, and death, with the second highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. ED treatment can include psychologists, registered dietitians (RD), and/or physicians. Insufficient research exists regarding RDs’ effects on ED treatment.
Objective: Describe the impact of RDs on ED treatment and QOL.
Design: A cross-sectional sample of participants with a history of ED completed a one-time, online survey.
Methods: Healthcare providers were emailed with recruitment materials for clients >18 years. Survey included demographic, validated Eating Disorder Quality of Life scale (EDQOL), and RD effects and helpfulness questions. In SPSS, paired t-test was used to assess QOL post-treatment for RD vs non-RD groups, plus effect size. Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare post-treatment QOL scores and mean differences in pre- and post-treatment QOL scores for RD vs non-RD groups. Using conventional qualitative analysis, narrative responses to the question “How has working with a registered dietitian (RD) affected your eating disorder recovery?” were coded by two researchers separately, then consensus was reached for final themes.
Results: Participants (n=70) were 87.1% (n=61) white, 90% (n=63) female, and RD treatment group (n=60). Most participants had positive perceptions of RD impact on ED recovery and described RDs as helpful, supportive educators. Over 62% of participants (n=35) reported that the RD helped reduce disordered eating behaviors a great deal/a lot. Statistically significant improvement in QOL after treatment existed for both RD treatment (-22.68, n=56, p < 0.001) and non-RD treatment groups (-14.9, n=10, p=0.008), without a significant difference between groups (p=0.193).
Conclusions: Results suggest RDs contribute to certain aspects of recovery. Participants reported that RDs helped decrease ED behaviors, shame, and meal skipping. Future research needs include the effects of RDs on ED treatment in larger, diverse samples.

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Improved physiological markers of omega-3 status and compliance with omega-3 supplementation in Division I Track & Field and Cross-country athletes: a randomized control crossover trial

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Katie Couris Nutritional Sciences Daphne Thomas Biology
Advisor(s): Jada Willis Nutritional Sciences
Location: First Floor, Table 1, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Omega-3 supplementation in Division I track & field and cross-country athletes: Physiological markers of Omega-3 status, compliance, and likeability

Katie Couris1, Daphne Thomas1, Tatum Johnston1, Austin J Graybeal, PhD, CSCS2, Brooke Helms, MA, RDN, CSSD, LD3, and Jada L. Willis, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND1

1Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Science & Engineering, Texas Christian University; Fort Worth, TX
2School of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Southern Mississippi; Hattiesburg, MS
3TCU Sports Nutrition, Department of Athletics, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

Omega-3 fatty acid (FA) intake is suboptimal in student-athletes. Given this, and the newfound access to supplementation in collegiate athletes, the purpose of this study was to determine if Enhanced Recovery™ (ER) would improve FA profiles, compliance, and likeability versus a control in Division I track & field and cross-country athletes. In this randomized crossover study, 17 athletes were randomly assigned to either ER or a matched, standard control (fish-oil pills) for ~42d each with a 33-35d washout period. FA profiles were measured at baseline and every two-weeks. For omega-3 index (N3I), there were significant effects of time (p<0.001) and interaction (p=0.004). Significant increases were observed up to four-weeks and were higher for the control versus ER at weeks four (ER=7.25%±1.02; CON=7.76%±1.16) and six (ER=7.33%±1.14; CON=8.03%±1.33). There were also significant effects of time for omega-3:6 and arachidonic:eicosapentaenoic acid (p<0.001). However, after adjusting for compliance and consumption of omega-3 food sources, there were no longer significant effects of time, but an interaction effect remained for N3I and was observed for omega-3:6 (p=0.022; p=0.024, respectively) where both measures were better from four-to-six weeks during the control. Consumption of omega-3 food sources was a significant covariate for N3I and omega-3:6 (p=0.037; p=0.017, respectively). Lastly, 57.9% reported liking/being more likely to take ER and felt it was easier to consume (68.4%). As expected, both the ER and control led to improved FA levels. However, supplementation with ER led to improved likability among division I athletes which may enhance long-term omega-3 status.

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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diet and health-related behaviors of adults

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Sendy Argueta Nutritional Sciences Lauren Jackson Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences
Location: Zoom Room 4, 01:58 PM

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diet and health-related behaviors of adults

Study objectives were to describe how diet and health habits changed and identify factors impacting diet and health behaviors during the pandemic.

An electronic, anonymous survey was developed and distributed via local social media and through a community food-bank following IRB approval. Data were coded into and analyzed for frequencies and correlations using SPSS.

Participants (n=80) were 97% (n=77) female and 41.37+/-11.7 years. Participants receiving food assistance primarily accessed community food/mobile pantries (22%, n=17). Participants (54%, n=43) agreed that, “I was healthier before the pandemic”, while 15% (n=12) disagreed. Participants (52%, n=42) reported 13.2+/-6.8 pounds unwanted, pandemic weight gain, while 22.5% (n=18) reported 14.1+/-13.9 pounds desired, weight loss. Among participants earning <$50,000/year, 89.5% (n=17) reported inability to afford healthy food, while 2.6% (n=1) earning >$150,000/year reported inability to afford healthy food. Inability to afford healthy food correlated with BMI (ρ=.40, p<.01). Income negatively correlated with pandemic weight gain (ρ=-0.31, p<0.05) and ability to afford healthy foods (ρ=-.73, p<0.01). Participants reported increased pandemic snacking (61.25%, n=49) and alcohol consumption (37.5%, n=30). Higher pandemic stress levels correlated with increased pandemic alcohol and snack consumption, (ρ=.30, p<.01) and (ρ=.44, p<.01), respectively.

Changes in health perceptions and weight were common. BMI and income impacted ability to afford healthy foods. Increased stress levels were significantly associated with increased alcohol intake and snacking, although weight changes were not associated with alcohol or snacking. This research provides information about pandemic dietary and health behavior changes and how impacts differ based upon income level.

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Determination of Caffeine Use and its Effects on University Students

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Jason Balters Nutritional Sciences Jordan Pitts Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences Kelly Fisher Nutritional Sciences
Location: Zoom Room 4, 01:18 PM

Determination of Caffeine Use and its Effects on University Students
Jason Balters, Senior-Coordinated Program in Dietetics; Jordan Pitts, Senior-Coordinated Program in Dietetics; Anne VanBeber, PhD, RD, LD, FAND, CCMS; Kelly Fisher, DCN, RD, LD, CSP; Lyn Dart, RD, LD, PhD - Department of Nutritional Sciences
Many studies have observed caffeine intake of university students. Investigators have found that the majority of consumers who over consume caffeine were not aware of the FDA recommended limit of 400 mg caffeine/day. Purposes of this research were to determine the level of caffeine consumption among students attending Texas Christian University (TCU) and the perceived effects that users experienced related to sleep, stress, and withdrawal symptoms. A desired outcome of this research was to clarify confounding values of average caffeine consumption in the university population that varied from 124 mg/day to 228 mg/day in the existing literature.

A survey questionnaire was created to assess the quantity, modality and situational scenarios of caffeine consumption, as well as caffeine’s perceived effect on sleep, energy and stress. Caffeine withdrawal effects felt by students were also ascertained in the survey. The survey was administered via Survey Monkey® and distributed via the TCU email system to approximately 1000 students. Basic descriptive and frequency statistics were calculated using the Survey Monkey® software.

The 217 respondents were 76.5% female with 94% between the ages of 18-25 years old and 94.0% current undergraduate students. Of the total respondents, 70.1% consumed 1-2 caffeinated beverages per day, 66.5% used caffeine to help study, and 67.5% used caffeine to increase energy. Negative perceptions of caffeine’s impact on sleep were reported by 30%; while 18.5% reported a negative impact on stress, and 73.7% reported withdrawal symptoms.

The consumption of 95-190 mg caffeine/day by the majority (54.9%) of study participants was consistent with reported scientific literature. While only 1.8% of those surveyed consumed more than the FDA recommendation of 400 mg caffeine/day, reasons for this are unknown. Additionally, of the 70% who stated they experienced withdrawal symptoms, it is uncertain if these symptoms were indeed caused from the caffeine withdrawal or from another unrelated cause. It is advised that the research survey be revised to include questions that more acutely seek information sought in the stated purpose of the study. Further research regarding caffeine consumption by consumers is also warranted to better assist registered dietitian nutritionists and other health professionals when assessing diet and lifestyle habits of patients.

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University Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes of a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Alex Burgess Nutritional Sciences Katherine Crider Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences Lyn Dart Nutritional Sciences Kelly Fisher Nutritional Sciences
Location: Zoom Room 3, 01:34 PM

Studies in the general population assessing knowledge/attitudes regarding a plant-based diet found that the majority of participants were reluctant to follow the diet. Specific concerns included perceived lack of satiety, low protein content, and undesirable taste. However, there is lack of research in the college-age population. The purpose of this study was to determine university students' general knowledge/attitudes of a whole-foods, plant-based diet.

Study Design:
After providing informed consent, participants (N=209) completed a 28-question online research survey via Survey Monkey®. Participant demographics, health status and eating habits were gathered at the beginning of the survey. The remaining questions assessed participant knowledge and attitudes pertaining to a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Analysis using Pearson correlation coefficients was performed to assess associations between knowledge and attitude towards a whole-foods, plant-based diet in concordance with participants’ health status and eating habits (SPSS, p ≤ 0.05).

Males were more likely to disagree that following a plant-based diet is beneficial to their health (p ≤ 0.01). Male students were also more likely to believe that a whole-foods, plant-based diet would never satisfy their hunger (p ≤ 0.01), decrease their energy levels (p ≤ 0.05); males were also less likely to understand the meaning of a whole-foods, plant-based diet (p ≤ 0.01). Similarly, students who had never taken a nutrition course were more likely to disagree that a whole-foods, plant-based diet is beneficial to their health (p ≤ 0.01).

Respondents who had negative attitudes toward a whole-foods, plant-based diet tended to lack knowledge/understanding of the diet. Providing nutrition education about the whole-foods, plant-based diet by registered dietitian nutritionists could result in improved health outcomes among this population.

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Behaviors and Attitudes of City Composting Pilot Program Participants

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Rylie Burmeister Nutritional Sciences Kendall Johnson Nutritional Sciences Ciera Rice Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences
Location: Zoom Room 4, 02:39 PM

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2.6 million tons of food waste was composted in 2017, while 30.6 million tons of food waste went to landfills. EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes actions to prevent and divert wasted food including source reduction and feeding hungry people and animals. The objectives of the study were to 1) describe factors influencing participation in a composting pilot and 2) determine the impact on food and overall waste.

A 36-question electronic anonymous survey was developed and distributed to 1,054 participants in the composting pilot program by the City of Fort Worth via email following IRB approval. Data were coded into and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 25. Statistical significance was p<0.05.

Approximately 40% of pilot program participants completed the survey (n=418/1054). Participants’ mean age was 45.5+/-14.9 years. Almost 90% (n=375) of participants cited wanting to save the Earth as a reason for program participation. Over 54% (n=223) reported completely filling the five-gallon compost bucket with food waste within 1-2 weeks, on average. Participants (45.7%, n=191) reported frequently throwing away food based upon expiration, best buy, or sell-by dates. Participants reported other waste-reducing behaviors including use of reusable glass and plastic containers and water bottles; 91.2% (n=381), 89% (n=372), 86.1% (n=360), respectively.

The majority of participants wanted to save the Earth and were partaking in other waste reduction behaviors. However, food waste remained high among households as evidenced by frequent filling of five-gallon compost buckets and reports of throwing away food based upon dating systems. While it is nearly impossible to eliminate all food waste, landfills need a relief system, and city composting programs or at-home composting could be solutions for many households. Citizens would benefit from additional education regarding food dating systems and food waste reduction methods.

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Perception of Carbohydrates Among College Students

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Claire Cimino Nutritional Sciences Jayne Walters Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences
Location: Zoom Room 1, 02:23 PM

Background: Low-carbohydrate diets are increasingly popular in the US. Despite having vital roles in the body, negative associations are established toward carbohydrates in the media, indicating that reduced consumption leads to weight loss, decreased gastrointestinal conditions and improved brain function and energy status.
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine college students’ perceptions of carbohydrates on health and contributing factors to their perceptions. It is hypothesized that due to recent media coverage and health trends, carbohydrates have gained a negative connotation in regards to health, despite the lack of research supporting these ideas.
Methods: An online survey was developed to investigate participants’ perceptions and knowledge of carbohydrates. Researchers recruited Texas Christian University students through social media and email. Data was analyzed using Excel.
Results: Among study participants (N=127), only 3% (n=4) were currently following a low-carbohydrate diet and 45% percent (n=54) had previously followed one. Of the participants who limited their carbohydrate intake, the main motivators were weight loss (53%, n=51) and health (19%, n=18); they reported low energy levels (51%, n=47), mood swings (20%, n=18), and trouble concentrating (18%, n=17). The most commonly reported sources of nutrition education were internet searches (74%, n=90), social media/blogs (63%, n=77), and friends/family (63%, n=77). Approximately 45% (n=55) were in a health-related major and 47% (n=57) have taken a college nutrition course. The majority were able to correctly identify the roles that carbohydrates play in the body, including energy source (98%, n=117) and brain function (69%, n=82).
Conclusions: A small percentage of participants are following a low-carbohydrate diet, likely due to their awareness of the roles that carbohydrates play in the body, as well as negative symptoms reported by those who previously followed the diet. Many had taken a nutrition class, which indicates that nutrition education influences dietary decisions.

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Registered Dietitians’ Recommendations for Nutrition Education and Interprofessional Education in Medical School Curriculum

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Eric Estrada Nutritional Sciences Olivia Spears Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Gina Hill Nutritional Sciences Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences Jada Willis Nutritional Sciences
Location: Zoom Room 2, 01:26 PM

Background. The prevalence of nutrition-related diseases has created a need for increased nutrition education in medical school curricula. Due to the lack of nutrition education for physicians, RD/RDNs bring value to interprofessional teams. Incorporating nutrition education into medical school programs is likely to increase physicians’ ability to provide nutrition advice and promote healthy lifestyles.

Objective. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to determine Registered Dietitians’ (RD/RDNs) perceptions of physicians’ nutrition knowledge; and 2) to determine the interprofessional practice of physicians.

Methods. A 27-question electronic survey was developed and distributed to a Survey Monkey link through email, social media and word-of-mouth communication following IRB approval. Inclusion criteria includes RD/RDNs credentialed with the Commission of Dietetic Registration over the age of 18 years. The investigators used Excel for Mac, Version 16.42 for data analysis. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.

Results. The study surveys RD/RDNs in Texas. Participants (n=64) were 38.3+/-11.0 years of age and 100% (n=64) female. Over 95% (n=61) of participants reported feeling comfortable interacting with or providing nutrition information to physicians in a healthcare team setting. Approximately 30% (n=19) of participants rated physicians at expected to well above expected on establishing collaborative relationships with RDs/RDNs. Approximately 78% (n=50) of participants reported that they disagreed/strongly disagreed that physicians are well-prepared to educate their patients in nutrition. Over 43% (n=28) agreed/strongly agreed that physicians discuss nutrition with patients/clients when appropriate.

Conclusions. RD/RDNs reported being comfortable interacting with physicians. RD/RDNs did not report that physicians were well-prepared to educate patients about nutrition or discuss nutrition with patients when appropriate. The majority of participants reported that physicians meet or exceed expectations for establishing collaborative relationships. Thus, interprofessional teams are valuable in achieving positive patient outcomes.

Keywords: Registered Dietitian, RD, RDN, Doctor, MD, DO, Medical School, Nutrition Education, Interprofessional Education

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A pilot study: Actual versus perceived health status of college students

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Carter Clatterbuck Nutritional Sciences Austin Graybeal Nutritional Sciences Jena Littlefield Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Jada Willis Nutritional Sciences

Background: A relationship exists between perception of one’s health based on weight, and how they manage their health. Normal-weight college students who physically appear healthy may unknowingly develop a chronic disease because they view good physical appearance as verification of good health.
Objective: The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) compare the perceived health status of TCU students to their actual health status; and 2) assess the health status of TCU students of normal BMI.
Design: This study was a cross-sectional, descriptive design.
Methods: Twenty-five normal-weight college students between ages 18-24 of any sex and race were recruited to complete a health perception assessment survey 24 hours prior to their lab visit. Participant’s anthropometric measurements (height, weight, body fat percentage, waist/hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio), blood pressure, fasting blood glucose (via finger prick) and a 10mL blood sample were collected. Blood was analyzed for hemoglobin A1c and a lipid panel. Self-reported survey results were compared with results obtained during the study visit to identify any discrepancies between actual and perceived health status and evaluate the overall health status of participants.
Results: Average BMI and waist-hip ratio of participants were 22.39±1.94 and 0.76±0.04, respectively. The most commonly elevated measured values were fasting blood glucose (29% prevalence), and body fat percentage, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol (21% prevalence each). Fifty-two percent of participants presented with at least one measured value outside normal limits and 29% presented with two or more values outside normal limits. However, 92% described themselves as “very healthy”, “healthy”, or “somewhat healthy”.
Conclusion: Despite the appearance and perception of health, a significant proportion of TCU students ages 18-24 may risk developing a chronic disease. Our results suggest that regardless of self-perceived health status, TCU students should receive regular check-ups to identify and manage physiological markers of health.

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Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Katy Clemens Nutritional Sciences Callie Juetten Nutritional Sciences Brooke Respondek Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences

Background: Intermittent fasting has become a dietary trend, as it is reportedly attributed to weight loss, maintenance of body composition, appetite control, improved sleep patterns, and disease prevention. However, current evidence-based research may not fully support these claims. There are discrepancies regarding the definition of intermittent fasting. Additionally, it is commonly confused with traditional fasting.
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine perceptions of intermittent fasting on health in college-aged students and compare to evidence-based findings. It was hypothesized that college students would have an overall positive perception of intermittent fasting based on current popularity of the diet.
Design: Cross-sectional
Methods: An online survey was developed which assessed participants’ knowledge and practice of intermittent fasting.  Participants were recruited via email and social media. Data was analyzed using SPSS. 
Results: Among study participants (N=99), 24.2% (n=22) reported currently or previously following an intermittent fasting diet. There was a positive correlation between reported intermittent fasting and weight loss (p<0.01), as well as increased energy levels (p<0.01).  The majority of participants (63.6%, n=63) defined intermittent fasting as “controlling the times throughout the day in which food/drink can be consumed.” Participants reported obtaining knowledge of intermittent fasting from internet research (50.5%, n=50), social media (46.5%, n= 46), and friends and family (42.4%, n=42).
Conclusions: Overall, participants commonly defined intermittent fasting, with knowledge coming from friends and family, social media, and the internet.  If participants had practiced intermittent fasting, the most significantly reported benefits were weight loss and increased energy levels, which may be attributed to the current study populations’ motives for diet adherence. Further research should be conducted with a more diverse subject population and include data regarding participants’ reported desired outcomes prior to starting the diet in order to determine if additional benefits can be attributed to intermittent fasting.

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How Social Media Influences Dieting and Eating Behavior

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Rylee Lin Nutritional Sciences Danielle Farmer Nutritional Sciences Julia Goodrich Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Anne VanBeber Nutritional Sciences


D. Farmer,1 J. Goodrich, Rylee Lin, A. Vanbeber, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND, L. Dart,
1Department of Nutritional Sciences, Texas Christian University

Learning Outcome: To determine the influence of social media on dieting and eating behaviors among adults living in the United States.

Learning Needs Codes:

Background: Social media plays a major role in influencing use of popular fad diets, and searching for diet-related information on social media is becoming more common. Research indicates that 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, and approximately half of all dieters report that their primary information source regarding special diets is the internet.

Design: Un-blinded, randomized trial approved by TCU IRB.

Methods: Participants completed an online SurveyMonkey® research questionnaire after providing informed consent. Population included 333 male (22%) and female (78%) individuals 18->45 years of age. Analyses assessed participants' history of fad dieting and outcomes, likelihood of being influenced by social media recommendations for food product brands, and/or following social media influencers promoting different diets. Data was analyzed using SPSS (P<0.05). Frequency distributions and correlations were analyzed for trends in dieting and eating behaviors and how these are influenced by social media.

Results: Age was the overriding factor in determining influence by social media among participants, with 18-22 year/olds more likely to follow a diet and/or try food product brands recommended by social media influencers (P=.01). Married and older participants vs. single younger participants were more likely to have attempted a weight loss diet but less likely to try a diet promoted by a social media influencer (P=.01). Additionally, regardless of age or marital status, there was a positive correlation between participants who dieted more frequently throughout the year and the likelihood of trying a diet promoted by social media influencers (P=.01).

Discussion/Conclusion: Social media provides registered dietitians/nutritionists with the unique opportunity to market their skills and to educate the public about evidence-based nutrition science.

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The metabolic effects of capsaicin on college-aged men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled, crossover pilot study

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Jessica Mertes Nutritional Sciences Natalia Andonie Nutritional Sciences Anna Graves Nutritional Sciences Austin Graybeal Nutritional Sciences Isabella Marzan Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Jada Willis Nutritional Sciences

The metabolic effects of capsaicin on college-aged men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled, crossover pilot study
J.E. Mertes,1 A.A. Graves,1 I. Marzan, 1 N. Andonie, 1 A.J. Graybeal, MS2, J.L. Willis, PhD, RDN, LD1
1Department of Nutritional Sciences, Texas Christian University
2Department of Kinesiology, Texas Christian University
Capsaicin is the biologically active, spicy flavor profile component of chili peppers that has been recently touted as an anti-obesity agent. However, studies examining the effects of capsaicin on these markers have mixed results.
The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effects of consuming a 14-d supply of 500mg/day or either capsaicin supplement versus placebo on: 1) basal metabolic rate (BMR); 2) blood glucose (BG); and 3) anthropometrics in college-aged men with BMI >25kg/m2.
This study utilized a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design.
Six overweight/obese, sedentary men completed four visits (~45min/visit) over a 45-day intervention period. On visit 1, participants completed anthropometric and BMR measurements and were randomly assigned to either capsaicin or placebo. Participants were provided with a 14d supply of pills, a pill log, and dietary logs to take and complete daily for 14d. On day 15 (V#2), the same testing and measurements occurred. Participants then completed a 14-day washout period. Following the washout period, participants crossed-over and underwent the V#3 (days 30) and V#4 (days 45) where the same procedures as before were followed.
From pre- to post-capsaicin supplementation, there were no significant changes in BMR (1.61±0.49 to 1.80±0.54 kcals/min, ns), BG (102.5±5.9 to 104.0±8.4mg/dL, ns), body weight (96.1±20.1 to 96.4±20.94kgs, ns), or BF% (22.2±9.2 to 22.7±8.6%, ns). Placebos showed no change in these markers (ns).
In overweight/obese college-aged men, supplementation with 500mg of capsaicin or placebo did not differentially affect BMR, BG or body composition. Overall, more research should ensue with a larger sample.
Funding Source: TCU SERC Grant # UG 190315

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Influence of public knowledge on consumption of dairy and dairy substitutes

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Katie Pitchford Nutritional Sciences Anna Brown Nutritional Sciences Eliana Buss Nutritional Sciences
Advisor(s): Rebecca Dority Nutritional Sciences

Background: Dairy-free diets have gained popularity within the United States based off of minimal scientific evidence to support the overall healthfulness of eliminating dairy. There is limited existing research as to factors that influence dairy consumption or how many people adhere to a dairy-restricted diet.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine public perception of the healthfulness of dairy and consumption patterns. It was hypothesized that due to recent media coverage and dietary trends, dairy products have gained a negative connotation and consumption has decreased.
Methods: An online survey was created to assess participants’ perception of the healthfulness of dairy and consumption trends of dairy and dairy substitutes. Participants age 18-65 were recruited via email and social media. Data was analyzed using SPSS.
Results: Among survey participants (N=213), the majority consume dairy (91%, n=194), with 77% (n=164) stating they consume 1-2 cups daily. There was a significant correlation (p≤0.01) between whether participants consume dairy and how healthy they view dairy products. The majority of respondents believe that dairy is healthy in moderation (70.4%, n=150), though 34.3% (n=73) believe that cow’s milk is nutritionally inferior to milk alternatives. There was a significant correlation (p≤0.01) between current dairy consumption and consumption of dairy during childhood. However, 42.7% (n=91) of participants stated that their preference for dairy has decreased over the past 5 years. Of the participants who had a decreased preference for dairy, their primary reasons were due to personal research (26.3%, n=56) and media influence (15%, n=32).
Conclusions: The majority of respondents reported consumption of dairy products and perceived dairy to be healthy in moderation. However, a large number of participants’ preference for dairy has decreased in recent years due to personal research and media influence. Future research should also include comparison of consumption trends to evidence-based dietary recommendations.

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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

presentation location

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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