Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Mary A. Bass

Committee Members

Ira Harrison, Betty Beach, Marjorie Penfield


The food preferences, meanings of foods and food intake patterns, of black women with incomes ranging from $6,000 to more than $15,000 and educational levels ranging from the 10th grade through the Doctor of Philosophy degree were studied through a hand-out questionnaire.

Results indicated that as the preference for a food was related positively to the perceived food intake. Milk was the most highly preferred food for the women (78%) and the perceived intake was high. However, the 24-hour recall revealed that the women used milk only with cereal and coffee. A positive correlation (p < 0.05) was found between preference and perceived intake for most foods. Some foods were more highly preferred by older women, others by younger women. There were positive relationships between prestige and preference, prestige and age, and prestige and intake for some foods. For a few foods, there were negative correlations between the variables.

The women did assign prestige to some of the foods. Roast beef, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and cottage cheese had high prestige value.

Sixty percent of the women reported eating a breakfast meal which agreed with those they reported usually having. For the noon meal, only 40% ate what they said they usually had. Eighty-eight percent had 24-hour recalls that agreed with their usual evening meal.

The terms breakfast, lunch, and dinner were used by over one-half of the women. Dinner was sometimes used for the noon meal and supper was sometimes used for the evening meal.

Terms for meals, meal patterns, and foods eaten were those associated with the region and generally used in the United States rather than those reported to be associated with blacks. The complexity and diversity of foods eaten, meanings attached to foods, and meal patterns seemed to reflect the total culture in the United States. However, regional influences were exhibited. Further research needs to be conducted in both of these areas to examine forces in the culture influencing food and nutrient intake.

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