Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

First Advisor

Alicia Landry, Ph.D., R.D.

Advisor Department

Nutrition and Food Systems

Abstract

Background: Alcohol consumption among college students has increased dramatically within the last three decades. Drinking has increased in even higher rates among students involved in Greek fraternities and sororities. The implications that this rise in drinking has on dietary behaviors are an important concern. While several studies have focused on investigating reasons for drinking and negative consequences with regards to drinking, literature is limited that focuses on how alcohol consumption affects dietary habits and behavior.

Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption on the dietary behaviors of college Greek students.

Methods: An online survey containing several questionnaires—Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ), Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale (PBSS), Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), Eating Attitudes Test (EAT), and Dietary Screener Questionnaire (DSQ)—in order to assess the drinking frequency, eating habits, and the correlations between these different measures and various demographics. A total of 550 participants from a single southeastern U.S. university completed the survey (392 non- Greeks, 158 Greeks). Participants had to have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days in order to be eligible to take the survey.

Results: Greek students reported significantly higher rates of alcohol consumption compared to non-Greeks (p=20.5 and p=11.6, respectively). Greek students also reported higher overall consumption of all food groups, as well as significantly higher rates of eating less before drinking in order to get drunk faster and using laxatives in order to lose weight (p=.023 and p>.01, respectively).

Conclusion: Alcohol consumption among Greek students was significantly higher than non-Greeks, which could have possibly lead to the higher rates of laxative use, eating less before drinking in order to get drunk faster, and overall higher amounts of food consumption noticed in the Greek population. This research has implications in college health promotion.

Included in

Nutrition Commons

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