Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Alison Gustafson

Abstract

Home availability of both healthful and unhealthful foods may influence consumption among rural adolescent populations. In conjunction, the availability of food in an individual’s local food environment has the potential to significantly impact what is procured for the home and eaten away from the home. The purpose of this study was to determine how in-store food availability and parental purchases influences home availability and, ultimately, dietary intake among adolescents. This study measured perceived home availability, using the University of Minnesota Project EAT Survey, and dietary intake, using the NHANES Dietary Screener Questionnaire, of (n=28) adolescent participants in two Kentucky counties during 2013. Availability of food in local stores was measured using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEM-S). The results of multiple linear regression analysis suggest that overall store availability does not significantly impact parental purchases. However, in-store availability of specific unhealthy food categories, such as snacks, junk food, candy, and pop, was associated with increased parental purchases of similar unwholesome items and a greater predicted intake of sugar. Therefore, it may be beneficial to develop interventions aimed at decreasing the availability of unhealthy food items in stores in order to improve diet quality among rural adolescents.

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