Nutrition and Dietetics


Oaks, Brietta

Advisor Department

Nutrition and Food Sciences




multivitamin; anemia; student; iron-deficiency


Multivitamin usage has been shown to be significantly prevalent in the United States amongst adult populations. Recent data suggests that women are more likely than men to regularly consume a multivitamin, and that physically active individuals are more likely to take a multivitamin than those who live sedentary lifestyles. However, there are important, documented behavioral tendencies exhibited by college students that set them apart from the general adult population in terms of dietary intake. College students often partake in poor eating habits such as regularly skipping meals, eating out frequently, eating at fast food restaurants, and snacking on processed foods. These eating behaviors predispose college adults to a variety of nutritional deficiencies. Anemia can be caused by many different factors, but some of the most common causes are a lack of iron, vitamin B12 and/or folate in the diet. These nutrients can be obtained through a variety of foods, but the inadequate eating habits found in college students may place this demographic group at an increased risk for nutritional anemia. This research project aims to evaluate sociological and behavioral differences in college students and determine whether or not these observed differences are associated with the likelihood that students choose to take a multivitamin, as well as whether or not multivitamin intake is associated with a decreased prevalence of anemia.