Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Roger C. Katz

First Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Second Committee Member

Mary Lou Tyler


The use of color coded prompts to influence students' food selections in choosing a balanced meal was investigated. Yellow, green, blue, and orange dots, representing the four major food groups, grains, fruit and vegetables, dairy, and meat respectively were displayed at the point-of-selection on food entree cards along the serving line of a college dining hall. Two grain servings, two fruit/vegetable servings, one dairy serving, and one meat serving, were suggested as the optimal combination for a balanced meal. The results indicated that the prompts, although noticed and understood by the majority of the students, did not significantly influence their food selections. These findings are inconsistent with earlier studies substantiating the effectiveness of color coded prompts at the point-of-selection in influencing food choices. Implications are discussed.