Nutritional Information at UIndy Public Deposited

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West, Audra L. Nutritional Information At Uindy. Camden, Jennifer.University of Indianapolis. 2015.

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West, Audra L. (2015). Nutritional Information at UIndy.

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West, Audra L. Nutritional Information At Uindy. University of Indianapolis. 2015.

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The purpose of this project was to develop a system in the University of Indianapolis campus cafeteria that would provide students with information regarding the nutritional value of their food, thus allowing them the opportunity to make a more informed decision. This is relevant because of the prevalence of obesity in the world today. Obesity has been a health issue in the United States since the end of the 20th century. Research has demonstrated that things such as lifestyle modification, physical activity, and dietary changes have been successful in reducing the prevalence of obesity. An increase in nutritional awareness is one technique that has had some success as well. My goal was to come up with a system of providing the information that was both relatively easy to understand for students as well as easy to implement for the staff in the cafeteria. By working in contact with the cafeteria manager, Dianne Szalai, as well as with the cafeteria executive chef, Sean Emrick, I was able to perform a comparison of the eating decisions students made with and without the nutritional information postings. In order to do this, information had to be gathered from a meal without any information posted first. After this, an identical menu was provided, with the only difference being the provision of nutritional information for the main entrees of the meal. The comparison was based on changes in the amount of each entree type that was selected by students. By looking at any changes in the entrees students choose to eat, we were able to determine the amount of influence that the nutritional labels had on students' eating decisions. We selected a meal that provided a sufficient variety of relatively healthy (Blackened Tilapia, Grilled Spanish Flank Steak) and less healthy entree options (Stuffed Shells, Patty Melts) so that a comparison could be made. During the meal in which the nutritional information was provided, I provided surveys to 100 students to gather information regarding their thoughts and opinions of the system. The final product of this project is a full report and analysis of the data gathered comparing the eating decisions students made with and without provision of nutritional information.

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