Title page for ETD etd-03282006-172832

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Elks, Carrie Marie
Author's Email Address celks@lsu.edu
URN etd-03282006-172832
Title Food Purchasing Behaviors, Dietary Energy Density, Perceived Health Status, and Perceived Nutrition Knowledge of Female Food Stamp Recipients Living in Southeast Louisiana
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carol E. O'Neil Committee Chair
Jeffrey M. Gillespie Committee Member
Pamela A. Monroe Committee Member
  • diet quality
  • food stamp program
  • low-income women
  • food insecurity
Date of Defense 2006-03-20
Availability unrestricted
Purchase and consumption of energy-dense nutrient poor [EDNP] foods by low-income individuals contributes to the lower diet quality and increased risk of chronic disease (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes) in this population. Food purchasing behaviors, dietary energy density [ED], perceived health status, and perceived nutrition knowledge were assessed in 22 female food stamp recipients in Southeast Louisiana. Two 24-hour recalls (at the beginning and at the end of the month) and food expenditure receipts were collected; participants also completed several questionnaires. Fifty percent [%] (n=11) of study participants were food secure, and fifty percent (n=11) were food insecure. Sixty-four % (n=14) of study participants were obese. Perceived nutrition knowledge was significantly associated with body mass index [BMI] (p=0.021) and with monthly expenditures on EDNP foods (p=0.076). A significant association of perceived eating habits with BMI was found (p=0.023). Age was significantly associated with monthly expenditures on EDNP foods (p=0.007), monthly fast food consumption (p=0.090), and perceived physical health (p=0.086). Food security status significantly influenced monthly expenditures on EDNP foods (p=0.007) and monthly fast food consumption (p=0.095), but did not significantly influence BMI or perceived physical health. Income per person in the household was also found to significantly influence perceived physical health (p=0.060). The impact of food purchasing behaviors and dietary energy density on the health of female food stamp recipients in Louisiana should be studied further.
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