Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Sharon Wallace

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nancy S. Wellman

Third Advisor's Name

Robert C. Fisher

Fourth Advisor's Name

Benigno T. Alvarez


Salt in the body, Airlines -- Food service

Date of Defense



Studies have estimated total daily salt consumption in the U.S. at 10 - 14.5 grams, despite increasing public awareness and decreased usage by the food industry. To avoid excess governmental regulation to modify current salt intake, determination of the amount of salt currently being used in a discretionary manner is needed.

This study investigated the feasibility/limitations of a data collection technique to assess discretionary salt intake in in-flight meal service, Discretionary salt use by airline passengers was determined by weighing salt packets remaining on used meal trays. Results showed an average discretionary salt consumption of 167 milligrams/meal among passengers able to add up to one gram of salt to their meal. At least 63% of the passengers used no discretionary salt, Intake was not influenced by sodium content of the menu, different flight days, or inclusion of a salad with the meal. Salt usage appeared to be an "indescriminate" function of habit.

The data collection tool proved a feasible method for estimating discretionary salt intake and could be useful in future consumer education studies.




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