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Open AccessArticle

Faith in Fat: A Multisite Examination of University Students’ Perceptions of Fat in the Diet

1
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
2
Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
3
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
4
New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health/Dining Services, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
5
Campus Dining with Housing Dining & Auxiliary Enterprises, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
6
NC State Dining, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
7
Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, USA
8
Department of Religion and Philosophy, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA 17003, USA
9
Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092560
Received: 9 July 2020 / Revised: 18 August 2020 / Accepted: 20 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Despite recent relaxation of restrictions on dietary fat consumption in dietary guidelines, there remains a collective “fear of fat”. This study examined college students’ perceptions of health among foods with no fat relative to foods with different types of fats (unsaturated and saturated). Utilizing a multisite approach, this study collected data from college students at six university dining halls throughout the United States. Data were available on 533 students. Participants were 52% male and consisted largely of first-year students (43%). Across three meal types, the no-fat preparation option was chosen 73% of the time, the unsaturated fat option was selected 23% of the time, and the saturated fat option was chosen 4% of the time. Students chose the no-fat option for all meal types 44% of the time. Findings suggest that college students lack knowledge regarding the vital role played by the type and amount of fats within a healthy diet. Nutrition education and food system reforms are needed to help consumers understand that type of fat is more important than total amount of fat. Efforts across various sectors can encourage incorporating, rather than avoiding, fats within healthy dietary patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary fat; dietary recommendations; nutrition knowledge; consumer behaviors dietary fat; dietary recommendations; nutrition knowledge; consumer behaviors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Landry, M.J.; Olvany, J.M.; Mueller, M.P.; Chen, T.; Ikeda, D.; Sinclair, D.; Schatz, L.E.; Connors, P.; Valgenti, R.T.; Amsler Challamel, G.; Gardner, C.D.; Policastro, P. Faith in Fat: A Multisite Examination of University Students’ Perceptions of Fat in the Diet. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2560. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092560

AMA Style

Landry MJ, Olvany JM, Mueller MP, Chen T, Ikeda D, Sinclair D, Schatz LE, Connors P, Valgenti RT, Amsler Challamel G, Gardner CD, Policastro P. Faith in Fat: A Multisite Examination of University Students’ Perceptions of Fat in the Diet. Nutrients. 2020; 12(9):2560. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092560

Chicago/Turabian Style

Landry, Matthew J.; Olvany, Jasmine M.; Mueller, Megan P.; Chen, Tiffany; Ikeda, Dana; Sinclair, Danielle; Schatz, Lesley E.; Connors, Priscilla; Valgenti, Robert T.; Amsler Challamel, Ghislaine; Gardner, Christopher D.; Policastro, Peggy. 2020. "Faith in Fat: A Multisite Examination of University Students’ Perceptions of Fat in the Diet" Nutrients 12, no. 9: 2560. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092560

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