Food Portion Sizes Consumed by College Students

Cloyd, Brooke N.
Collins, Nina
Randall, G. Kevin
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Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences

Obesity is on the rise in the United States, and causes of such an epidemic have become the basis of research in many scientific studies. Researchers are looking at portion control or distortion as one part of the problem. This portion control problem can put people who often eat in a cafeteria setting at high risk for obesity. This study examined a Midwestern University’s students’ eating habits and compared their eating habits to the USDA guidelines. The purpose of this study was to compare the estimated portion sizes of fruits, vegetables, and french fries consumed by college students with the USDA suggested serving size. "Serving Size Screener ” was administered to a volunteer sample consisting of 67 college students (45 females) in general education classes during the 2008 spring semester. Participants were given a portion guide to use as they completed the personal food frequency questionnaire. Single sample t-tests were performed comparing the study sample's perceived average portion size consumed relative to the USDA suggested size for the three categories. Results indicated that students consumed significantly larger servings of each item than the USDA recommendations.

This article was originally published by Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences
perceived average portion size, obesity rates, portion guide, USDA suggested size
Cloyd, B. N., Collins, N., & Randall G. K. (2008). Food portion sizes consumed by college students. Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences, 7,