Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Carol T. Windham


Carol T. Windham


Georgia Lauritzen


Charles Carpenter


This study used the 1987-88 USDA Nationwide Food Consumption Survey to investigate the contribution meat products make to intakes of nutrients at risk of inadequate or excessive consumption by women. The study is unique in that meat nutrients were extracted from mixed dishes, providing a more accurate picture of consumption. Cluster analysis was used to classify nonpregnant, nonlactating women 19 years and older based on their consumption patterns of total meat and individual meats (beef, poultry, processed meats, pork and seafoods) as percent of caloric intake.

Total fat and SFA intakes exceeded National Research Council (NRC) goals regardless of meat intake level. Results indicate an inverse relationship of total energy intake and calories from all meats. Total fat intakes had a small, positive relationship with meat calories. Saturated fatty acid (SFA) intakes appeared to have a weak, positive relationship.

Vitamin B6 intakes were below the RDA in all clusters but were adequate relative to protein intakes. Iron intakes of women under age 51 were less than 70% of RDA. Zinc had a strong, positive association with total meat intake. Individuals that did not consume beef met only 48% to 62% of RDA.

An analysis to determine if increases in vitamin 86, iron, and zinc seen with high meat intake were due to increased meat or caloric intake showed that total fat and SFA increased 12% and 8%, respectively, when ≤ 2 ounces of meat and ≤ 6 ounces of meat were consumed. All of the increase was derived from meat. Vitamin B6, iron, and zinc increased 100%, 59%, and 132%, respectively; 77%, 64%, and 90% were due to meat.

In summary, women's diets were significantly low in iron and zinc, which are strongly present in meat products, especially beef. Intakes of vitamin B6 appear to meet calculated needs, but some women may be at risk due to the increased requirements found with age and the low bioavailabilty of plant sources. Attempting to reduce total fat and SFA intakes by reducing meat intake, especially red meat, may have a deleterious effect on women's nutrient status.