Date

4-2017

Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School

COLSA

Class Year

Sophomore, Junior

Department

Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

Major

Nutrition

Faculty Research Advisor

Jesse Stabile Morrell

Second Faculty Research Advisor

Tanya Horacek

Third Faculty Research Advisor

Laura Beth Brown

Abstract

Environmental factors play a large role in shaping diet and lifestyle behaviors. While improvements in dining and recreation facilities is a main focus of many universities, less attention is directed towards other factors that may affect eating and physical activity patterns. The purpose of this study was to assess if the greater UNH campus environment promotes a healthy lifestyle by conducting the Healthy Campus Environmental Audit (HCEA), a USDA multistate survey. Using methods developed by Syracuse University, four evaluators surveyed convenience stores (n=6) and vending machines (n=15) to determine the availability and adequacy of healthy options; walking/biking paths (n=28) were also assessed. The results showed that healthy options were frequently available in most convenience stores but limited in vending machines. Two-thirds of convenience stores had ≥1-3 fresh fruit and fresh vegetable options, respectively, while vending machines contained an average of 20% healthy snacks and 16% healthy beverages. The campus was also found to be conducive to walking and biking. Of the paths evaluated, 92% had suitable walking surfaces, such as sidewalks or paths completely away from the road, and 89% had a designated bike lane or a path wide enough to accommodate both bicycles and pedestrians. The findings from the HCEA may help UNH administrators to improve the campus environment and further contribute to the development of a validated assessment tool.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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