Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


College students--Nutrition; Aspartame--Physiological affect; Nutrition--Sex differences


This study was designed to determine the use of low-calorie sweeteners in food and beverage intake by college students. The subjects were 193 college students who participated by completing a three-part questionnaire which consisted of 24-hour dietary recall, background information, and frequency of consumption of various sources of sweetness. Intakes of various nutritional components including sugar, were calculated and analyzed from the 24-hour dietary recall. Weekly servings of regular sweets and low-calorie sweets consumed by the subjects were determined by the reported frequency. Most of the low-calorie sweets came from aspartame products, which averaged 6.2 servings/week, while saccharin sweetened food averaged only 1.6 servings/week. Therefore, aspartame and saccharin products were combined for all the statistics as low- calorie sweetener use. The average weekly consumption of regular sweets was 20.5 servings. The most popular low- calorie sweetened food was diet soft drinks. The patterns of food intake and sweetener use were different between the 58 males and the 135 females. Females consumed significantly more low-calorie food than males. The use of low-calorie sweetener was related to their health conditions and diet modification among females, but not among males. While daily sugar intake was positively related to the frequency of low-calorie sweetener consumption in males and significantly higher in male users, the sugar intake was negatively related to the low-calorie sweetener use and significantly lower in females users. Thus, no benefit of low-calorie sweetener use was found among males. However, the female users did reduce their sugar intake which might be beneficial.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-44 and 62-65)


vi, 70 pages




Northern Illinois University

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