Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Family and Consumer Sciences

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Modern Languages

Document Type



The history of the Yucatan has played a major role in the development of the food system of the area and the nutritional status of the population. Originating from an agricultural based diet, which forms the foundation of the traditional Yucatan diet, there has been a recent shift away from whole and natural foods to a more processed and convenient food supply due to the influx of American products and culture. Coinciding with the influx of these unhealthy foods, there has also been a rise in the health problems of the Mexican population such as heart disease and diabetes, both of which are diseases related to nutrition.

Through an evaluation of the history of the Yucatan, the traditional foods consumed in the Yucatan, the lifestyle and the health status of the Yucatan population, and through an analysis of a 3 day food diary from a contemporary Yucatan household, it is concluded that the traditional Yucatan diet provides all of the essential macronutrients in their recommended amounts. However, with a more detailed analysis, the Yucatan diet is also lacking or exceeding the Dietary Recommended Intake (DRI) of specific nutrients such as calcium, iron, fiber and sodium.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Karen Mason


Food Science | Nutrition