Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



Diets are typically poorer and risk of chronic disease (e.g. obesity) is greatest in low-income populations. Food security status, nutrient intake, and Body Mass Index were assessed in 64 female food stamp recipients in Southeast Louisiana. One 24-hour dietary recall was collected at the beginning of the month (Day 1) and one at the end of the month (Day 2). Food security status was: 29 food secure (FS), 26 food insecure (FIS), and nine food insecure with hunger (FISH). Sixty-two % (n=39) of our study participants were obese. Mean % energy from protein (p=0.03); total fat (p=0.029), % saturated fatty acids [SFA] (p=0.027), % monounsaturated fatty acids [MUFA] (p=0.012), % polyunsaturated fatty acids [PUFA] (p=0.047); and vitamins B12 (p=0.045), E (p=0.011) and A (p=0.033), respectively, for Day 1 were higher than Day 2 in the FIS group. Mean % energy from carbohydrate for Day 2 was significantly greater (p=0.002) than Day 1 in the FIS group. In FISH subjects, cholesterol intake was higher (p=0.0352) on Day 1 than on Day 2. In the FS group, mean calcium (p=0.047) and iron (p=0.039) intakes were significantly greater on Day 2 when compared to Day 1. Mean cholesterol intake was different (p=0.031) among the three food security status groups. Regardless of food security status, % SFA, cholesterol, and sodium exceeded current Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III recommendations with the exception of mean cholesterol intake on Day 2. Mean % MUFA and % PUFA intakes were approximately 50% below ATP III recommendations. Mean intakes of all food security status groups failed to meet the established Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for potassium; folate; vitamins D, E, and A; calcium; and dietary fiber. Few study participants met the DRI for calcium; potassium; dietary fiber; and vitamins A, E, or D. Diets of all participants were poor and risk of nutrient deficiencies was high. The relationship between diet, weight, and food security in food stamp participants deserves further study.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Carol E. O'Neil



Included in

Human Ecology Commons