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Gender Differences and Fast Food Preferences Among U.S. College Students

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
The intent of this research is to examine the relationship of corporate fast food and health within the context of gender. It tests the hypothesis that Western perceptions of masculinity and femininity inform a differentiated pattern of food preference, which will correlate with health as measured by Body Mass Index (BMI). The targeted sample population for the study is the undergraduate community of the University of Central Florida, and fast food is a chosen dietary medium because it is an increasingly ubiquitous source of caloric energy in the American foodscape, representative of the mass production model applied to cuisine in Western nations. Data regarding fast food consumption habits were collected via survey producing a sample size of n=165 (n=116 females, n=49 males). Statistical analysis applied to this data yields conflicting results. While no gender based food preference is demonstrated, a correlation between BMI and frequency of consumption can be established. This suggests a gender-differentiated preference for fast food in general, if not for specific food items. From this sample, respondents were interviewed (n=14 females, n=8 males). Analysis of these interviews reveals an acute awareness by females of the connection between diet and health that is not reflected by males. Whether this perceived difference is based on an actual disparity of health education or a willingness to express this knowledge, it indicates a discrepancy which is likely attributable to cultural influences. While this study does not reveal gender-based differences in perception of specific foods, it does suggest disproportionate consumption patterns within genders which reflect distinct and contrasting cultural expectations in the U.S.
Title: Gender Differences and Fast Food Preferences Among U.S. College Students.
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Name(s): Persaud, Donald, Author
Matejowsky, Ty, Committee Chair
Geiger, Vance, Committee Member
Williams, Lana, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The intent of this research is to examine the relationship of corporate fast food and health within the context of gender. It tests the hypothesis that Western perceptions of masculinity and femininity inform a differentiated pattern of food preference, which will correlate with health as measured by Body Mass Index (BMI). The targeted sample population for the study is the undergraduate community of the University of Central Florida, and fast food is a chosen dietary medium because it is an increasingly ubiquitous source of caloric energy in the American foodscape, representative of the mass production model applied to cuisine in Western nations. Data regarding fast food consumption habits were collected via survey producing a sample size of n=165 (n=116 females, n=49 males). Statistical analysis applied to this data yields conflicting results. While no gender based food preference is demonstrated, a correlation between BMI and frequency of consumption can be established. This suggests a gender-differentiated preference for fast food in general, if not for specific food items. From this sample, respondents were interviewed (n=14 females, n=8 males). Analysis of these interviews reveals an acute awareness by females of the connection between diet and health that is not reflected by males. Whether this perceived difference is based on an actual disparity of health education or a willingness to express this knowledge, it indicates a discrepancy which is likely attributable to cultural influences. While this study does not reveal gender-based differences in perception of specific foods, it does suggest disproportionate consumption patterns within genders which reflect distinct and contrasting cultural expectations in the U.S.
Identifier: CFE0005044 (IID), ucf:49951 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, Anthropology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): fast food -- sex -- BMI -- gender differences -- nutrition
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005044
Restrictions on Access: public 2013-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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