Date of Award

8-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Nutrition

Major Professor

Dileep Sachan

Committee Members

Jean Skinner, James W. Bailey

Abstract

A descriptive survey was distributed to a cross-sectional sample of undergraduate students during the time period of April 1998 to May 1998 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The purpose of the research was to compare prevalence of binge drinking with the national average, and to explore and identify relationships between alcohol consumption and nutritional risks.

The student population had significantly lower prevalence of binge drinking (31.9%) than the national average (41%). However, binge drinking among women in the population was lower than the national studies (22%) while binge drinking among men was higher (53%). The members of fraternities were more likely to be binge drinkers (85% vs. 24%), while sorority members had a similar prevalence of binge drinking as non-members (24% vs. 24%). Energy intake was higher among non-binge men, women, and binge men compared to the abstainers. The binge drinking men consumed more protein, less carbohydrate, and less fat than abstainers. The binge drinking women consumed less protein, more carbohydrate, and less fat than abstainers.

Nutrition supplements were taken by 71% of binge drinkers, 54% of non-binge drinkers, and 38% of abstainers. The most popular supplements were vitamin C, vitamin E, and multivitamins.

More binge drinking men than women ate food before drinking alcohol. Group and individual counseling is recommended to increase awareness to food-alcohol effects, especially among women.

This research provided a basis for further research aimed to identify prevalence of alcohol misuse and nutritional risks among college students with particular focus on energy intake, body mass index, and macronutrient composition of the diet.

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