Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Jamie I. Baum

Committee Member

Michelle Gray

Second Committee Member

Elisabet Børsheim


Cardiometabolic, diet quality, Egg, Food Insecurity, Nutrition, Protein


Food Insecurity (FI) is defined as a condition in which individuals lack access to adequate food due to limited financial resources. FI is estimated to impact 12% of households in United States. Adults and children who experience FI are an increased risk for developing metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The negative health outcomes associated with FI are multi-factorial, however, many of them may be caused by limited nutritional intake and poor diet quality. Efforts to better understand the obstacles food insecure populations face is critical in order to improve nutrient intake and minimize the negative health outcomes involved. Dietary intake of eggs may serve as applicable solution for FI families who are challenged by limited nutritional intake. Eggs contain a variety of nutrients that support metabolic health. For instance, eggs are a complete source of high quality protein. Diets abundant in high quality protein are shown to improve body composition, nutrient intake, and markers of cardiometabolic health. In addition, eggs contain sixteen vitamins and minerals, and are one of the few sources of naturally occurring vitamin D. Furthermore, eggs are cost-efficient. When comparing the relationship between foods based on calories and unit cost, the energy cost of eggs is significantly less when compared to other animal protein foods such as meat, poultry and fish. However, dietary intake of eggs is controversial in-regards to cardiovascular health and it is unclear whether or not regular and long-term consumption is appropriate. Therefore, the objective of this thesis was to determine if habitual egg intake improves body composition, cardiometabolic markers, and nutrient status is adults and children from food insecure households