Mary L. Grieb

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, Sondra L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Food habits; Exercise--Physiological aspects


A study was conducted to observe the changes in food intake made by college students when they varied their levels of physical activity. The subjects were 47 volunteers from physical education swimming classes and home economics classes at a university. Records and questionnaires were completed by the subjects during the first, fourth, and seventh weeks of a summer school session. An activity level assessment was used to compute the energy expenditure of each subject. They were then grouped according to whether or not they had increased, decreased, or kept the same level of activity throughout the study. The subjects also completed a 3-day dietary recall-record during each data collection. The records were analyzed for calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and selected vitamins and minerals. The group who increased their activity during the study demonstrated a significant decrease in calorie intake at the fourth and seventh weeks as compared with the first week. The subjects who decreased their activity, or who made no consistent change in activity, produced no significant change in caloric intake. When the data was analyzed by class, it was found that the students participating in moderate swimming had a trend of decreasing intake throughout the study, although significance was not reached. Students who were participating in a strenuous swimming class decreased their intake at week 4 and then increased it significantly at week 7. Analysis of the home economics classes showed no significant change in intake. All three groups of subjects lost weight over the seven weeks, with the largest mean loss, 0.9kg, acquired by the group who increased their activity. Dietary analysis revealed that this group increased their proportion of calories from protein as the study progressed. This analysis also disclosed low levels of calcium and vitamin A intake for the males, and low calcium and iron intake for the females. It was concluded that food intake will vary for some people when a change of activity is made. Caloric intake is likely to decrease unless a strenuous training program is carried out.


Bibliography : pages 56-60.


vi, 72 pages




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