Why do Hamilton College students eat the way they do? Based on in-depth, semi-structured, interviews with 12 Hamilton students I searched for the major influences. My results suggest that there are variabilities between people’s habits, but there is a relationship between gendered popular culture and local peer influences that shape each person’s habits. Men and women eat differently, this is not questioned; however, the habits between athletes and Greek members showed variability as well. Athletes mainly eat based on performance, and Greek members typically follow popular cultures’ notion of an ideal body image: women should be thin and men should be muscular. My findings largely support the literature on eating behavior, however, it adds nuance into the culture at a small liberal arts college that previous studies often overlook.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Jaime Kucinskas, Stephen Ellingson


Access to this thesis is limited to Hamilton College, Clinton, NY.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.