Authors: Sydnee Berman, Karla Shelnutt, Phd, RD, Lauren Sweeney, MS, RDN, Kaley Mialki, MS, RDN
Faculty Mentor: Karla Shelnutt, Phd, RD
College: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Americans are not meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) recommendations. Healthy meal kits may help individuals improve their diet quality. Participants received a weekly meal kit for six weeks, each including recipes and ingredients to cook three healthy meals. Participants completed 24-hour dietary recalls at baseline, on a day a meal kit was consumed (midpoint), post, and long-term follow up (LTFU). Data were converted to Healthy Eating Index (HEI) to assess adherence to the DGAs. Paired sample t-tests were used to assess significance between the four time points. Participants (n=36) had a mean age of 42 and a BMI of 35. The mean HEI scores at midpoint (54) were higher than baseline (44, p<.001), post (48, p=.017), and LTFU (45, p<.008). HEI scores for total vegetable, total fruit, and whole grains were higher during midpoint compared to baseline (4.2 vs 3.3, p=.023; 2.2 vs 1.0, p=0.13; 4.0 vs 0.6, p=.001, respectively). Participants had higher HEI values on the day they consumed the meal kit compared to other time points in the study. Meal kits may aid families in better aligning their diet with the DGAs.