Food Acceptability, Menu Fatigue, and Aversion in ISS Missions (Food Acceptability) - 12.20.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The first formal investigation of how a repetitive menu affects food acceptability during spaceflight, Food Acceptability, Menu Fatigue, and Aversion in ISS Missions (Food Acceptability) examines changes in the appeal of food aboard the International Space Station during 6-month and 1-year missions. Acceptability of food – whether crew members like and actually eat something – may directly affect crew caloric intake and associated nutritional benefits. It is possible that menu fatigue, from consuming the limited foods available in a closed system repeatedly, leads to decreased acceptability and increased aversion to some foods, which may contribute to the loss of body mass often experienced by crew members. This can present the crew with unfavorable health consequences as mission length increases.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Grace Douglas, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Grace Douglas, Ph.D., NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Alexandra M. Whitmire, Ph.D., KBRwyle, Houston, TX, United States
Maya R. Cooper, MSE, Leidos, Houston, TX, United States
Millennia H. Young, Ph.D., NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

Developer(s)
NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, ISS Medical Project, Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
NASA Research Office - Human Research Program (NASA Research-HRP)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - September 2017

Expeditions Assigned
51/52

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The acceptability of the food system has been linked to caloric intake and associated nutritional benefits.
  • It is possible that menu fatigue leads to decreases in acceptability of available foods, and increases in aversion to those foods, which may contribute to the body mass loss often experienced by International Space Station (ISS) crew; however, the impact of repeat food consumption on acceptability within the current spaceflight food system has not been investigated.
  • Limited variety and crew preferences within food categories may have more severe health consequences as mission length increases.
  • The diet on a long-duration mission must contain adequate diversity to prevent menu fatigue and food aversion, and to support continued intake of a variety of nutritional foods that promote crew health and performance.
  • Food fatigue and preference selection in a closed food system increases the risk of a nutritional deficiency, and may limit the types of foods remaining at the end of a mission.
  • The Food Acceptability, Menu Fatigue, and Aversion in ISS Missions (Food Acceptability) study seeks to determine the current state of acceptability of the ISS food system throughout 6-month and 1-year missions.

Description
The acceptability of the food system has been linked to caloric intake and associated nutritional benefits. It is possible that menu fatigue leads to decreases in acceptability of available foods, and increases in aversion to those foods, which may contribute to the body mass loss often experienced by ISS crew; however, the impact of repeat food consumption on acceptability within the current spaceflight food system has not been investigated. Limited variety and crew preferences within food categories may have more severe health consequences as mission length increases. The diet on a long-duration mission must contain adequate diversity to prevent menu fatigue and food aversion, and to support continued intake of a variety of nutritional foods that promote crew health and performance. Food fatigue and preference selection in a closed food system increases the risk of a nutritional deficiency, and may limit the types of foods remaining at the end of a mission. The study will determine the current state of acceptability of the ISS food system throughout 6-month and 1-year missions.

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Applications

Space Applications
Food Acceptability aims to identify how repeatedly eating the same items from a limited list of options affects acceptability of the food available during spaceflight. Results can aid the development of strategies to improve the food system and better support crew health and performance on long-duration missions.

Earth Applications
Food Acceptability provides information that may be useful in helping to improve nutritional intake on Earth, for example, in institutional settings such as assisted living facilities and hospitals.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
A questionnaire is provided via the Data Collection Tool (DCT) on a Station Support Computer (SSC). In the questionnaire, the crew evaluates each food and beverage in one meal for overall acceptability. For Expedition 51, the questionnaire is completed once per week by one crew member during the last several months of the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery

image
NASA Image: ISS016E011281 - Various food items float freely as Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson prepares a meal in the Service Module (SM)/Zvezda.

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