I. Fetty, A. Suhre, P. Weisenhaus, W. M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

Food choice and factors that influence food choice have been documented between genders. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in food choice and the factors that influence food choice between genders within a traditional undergraduate population. The research hypothesis was that there would be an observable difference in food choice and factors that influence food choice between women (W) and men (M). METHODS: Full-time undergraduate students (18-24 years old) were identified as the target population. An email was sent to randomly selected students, which invited them to participate. Emails were also distributed to various departments in the undergraduate population. Ultimately, 130 eligible respondents (68 women, 62 men) volunteered for participation. The survey prompted participants to select the frequency in which they ate certain food groups in a week; participants were then asked to choose the factor that most influenced that choice. Means and standard deviations were calculated as measures of central tendency and variance for each of the dependent variables. An independent groups t-test (p ≤ 0.05) was utilized to determine significant differences between dependent variables. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences between women and men for animal-based protein intake frequency (W: 2.46 ± 1.94 servings/week, M: 1.40 ± 0.99 servings/week, p = 0.000), animal-based dairy (W: 4.29 ± 2.17 servings/week, M: 3.16 ± 2.17 servings/week, p = 0.004), and plant-based dairy (W: 4.96 ± 2.28 servings/week, M: 6.95 ± 1.88 servings/week, p= 0.000). Therefore, the research hypothesis was accepted. CONCLUSION: Overall, there was a significant difference between genders in animal-based protein, animal-based dairy, and plant-based dairy intake frequency. Sensory appeal and health were cited as the most important factors that influenced food choice. However, the survey questions did not elucidate further rationale that may have impacted specific food choices in the sample population. Future research in this area could benefit from a more robust question set that addresses the reasoning for food selection.

This document is currently not available here.