Caregiver Consumer Behavior Towards Healthy and Unhealthy Meals at a Major Entertainment Resort

Open Access
Author:
Sun, Rayna Hsinchuan
Area of Honors:
Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Breffni M Noone, Honors Advisor
  • Peter Lawrence Bordi Jr., Thesis Supervisor
Keywords:
  • healthy
  • meal
  • entertainment resort
  • obesity
  • nutrition intervention
Abstract:
In the years following the childhood obesity epidemic, there have been numerous interventions aimed at combating childhood obesity and its detrimental effects. Currently, 33% of children and adolescents in the United States are either overweight or obese. This pilot test studies the effects of providing a healthy breakfast option for children ages 3-9, compared to a less healthy breakfast option, to caregivers. Caregivers were surveyed to determine their selection behavior when presented with a choice of two meals in order to investigate the feasibility of offering a healthier breakfast meal, compared to a less healthy meal, at a major entertainment resort in Orlando, Florida. Caregivers were also surveyed to determine whether their level of concern regarding their child’s weight and diet quality played a role in choosing a meal for their child. The effects of providing nutritional information and factors outside of healthfulness such as price, packaging and appearance, and convenience, were studied as well to evaluate whether these had an effect on meal selection. The results indicate that caregivers’ high levels of concern regarding their children’s diets and the healthfulness of a meal increases the likelihood of selecting a more healthy meal. Additionally, while a caregiver may be aware of provided nutrition information, they must also consider that nutrition information in order for it to have an influence on meal selection.