This study investigates food preferences among students and how they are formed. Childhood obesity and food insecurity are two concepts that have had a significant amount of recent academic attention and are important issues faced by children. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), in 2010, more than one-third of children and adolescents in the U.S. were overweight or obese. For this research, I am attempting to determine how food preferences are formulated by grade school students. Surveys with students and parents, and interviews with faculty and administration, were conducted. A few of the questions I have sought to answer include: What effect does food have on academic success?, What is the role of the cafeteria environment on food selection?, What role does socioeconomic status have in influencing food selection?, and Do peers influence eating habits? To attempt to answer these questions, I consulted scholarly works and research that have been completed on the topic. The theoretical framework for this project was based on several concepts and individuals: Claude Fischler, Carole M. Counihan, Lindsay McLaren, Pierre Bourdieu, libertarian paternalism, and habitus. ii


Adams, Abigail


Sociology and Anthropology




food choice, nutrition, student diet

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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