The goal of this thesis is to determine the social factors significant in choosing one's diet, specifically vegetarianism. Using 2009-2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we conduct three logistic regression analyses. We find significant differences between people who identify as vegetarian and people who do not consume meat--true vegetarians. Our results indicate people with mid- and high-income levels have higher odds of being true vegetarians. Interpreting our results through the lens of sociologists Ulrich Beck and Erving Goffman, we conclude that people perform the part of vegetarian in effort to avoid social risks. This study contributes to identity formation and the accessibility of vegetarian diets in the United States.


Frazier, Marian

Second Advisor

Matsuzawa, Seiko


Mathematics; Sociology and Anthropology


Applied Mathematics | Applied Statistics | Food Studies | Medicine and Health | Sociology


vegetarianism, diet, logistic regression, ordinal regression, Goffman, Beck

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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