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Document Type



Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Nancy Wellman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Leslie Frazier

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Oren Stier

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Victoria Castellanos

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


food deprivation, Holocaust survivors

Date of Defense



A qualitative study was conducted to determine if Holocaust survivors’ food attitudes are influenced by their earlier experiences. The 25 survivor interviewees (14 males, 11 females) ranged in age from 71 to 85 years and resided in Miami-Dade and Broward, Florida counties. Most (56%) were interned in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Interviews were tape-recorded and later transcribed. Results showed earlier experiences influenced food attitudes. The most common themes were: 1) Difficulty throwing food away - even when spoiled; 2) Storing excess food; 3) Craving a certain food; 4) Difficulty standing in line for food; and 5) Anxiety when food is not readily available. Sub-themes included healthy eating and empathy for those currently suffering from hunger. Fourteen (56%) fast for religious holidays, but 7 (28%) said they already had “fasted enough.” Dietitians and others are encouraged to evaluate food service programs to minimize uncomfortable food-related situations for Holocaust survivors.





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