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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Kendra Kattelmann


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if cooking classes improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards beef consumption, whether online cooking demonstrations and interactive cooking classes are equal in improving participants’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards beef and to determine if increase beef consumption improves participant’s iron status.
Methods: Thirty physically active females (18-24 years) were recruited to participate in a 5 day a week training program for 10 weeks. Participants were stratified by their beef and iron intake and randomly assigned to one of the three groups; 1) traditional interactive cooking group; 2) online demonstrative cooking group; or 3) control group. Intervention groups were instructed to consume an additional 3 servings (3 oz. each) of beef weekly during the 10 week duration. Control participants annotated beef consumption and diet normality on a weekly calendar for quality assurance. The demonstrative cooking group participants viewed online, pre-recorded demonstrations on iTunesU, while the interactive group attended in class, cooking classes. All participates were required to exercise five days per week for at least one hour per day. Body composition, average beef consumption, dietary iron, blood markers of iron status (hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum iron, serum ferritin and total iron binding capacity) and attitudes and behaviors towards beef and cooking were measured at baseline, 10 weeks and 6 months. Participants were classified as iron deficient if the serum ferritin levels <15 mg/dL and iron deficiency anemia if both their serum ferritin levels <15 mg/dL and hemoglobin values were <12 g/dL. Statistical analysis was performed using the commercially available statistical software SAS. Descriptive statistics are represented by mean ± standard deviation. A repeated measure analysis of variance was used to determine significant differences for group, time and group*time. Statistical significance was reached at p<0.05.
Results: Twenty-six participants completed the study; nine in the control group, eight in the intervention group and nine in the demonstrative group. There was no significant difference between age, height, weight, percentage body fat, fat free mass or VO2 Max from baseline to 10 week. There were significant differences in heme iron intake due to time; all groups increased intake from baseline to 10 weeks and from 10 weeks to 6 months. There were no group x times differences in any measured blood parameters. There was no difference in the attitude and behavioral components of nutrition behavior, nutrition changeability, beef behavior, beef changeability, exercise behavior, exercise environmental changeability, nutrition environmental changeability, cooking attitude, beef cooking attitude, eating competency, healthy eating, fruit and vegetable intake, mealtimes patterns or shopping behaviors.
Conclusion: Even though our results did not show a significant influence on the participant’s iron status, it did provide insight into areas that need to be further developed. According to our survey, participant’s attitudes towards cooking stayed consistent throughout the study, proving that the participants always enjoyed and felt confident cooking. However when looking directly at beef cooking attitudes, participant’s attitudes increased during the intervention then decreased to below the baseline value at the follow up. This could indicate that the participants were still unsure about their ability of cooking beef.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Iron in the body
Cooking (Beef)
Women college students -- Nutrition


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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