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Assessment of the dining environment on and near the campuses of fifteen post-secondary institutions

  • Tanya M Horacek (a1), Maria B Erdman (a1), Carol Byrd-Bredbenner (a2), Gale Carey (a3), Sarah M Colby (a4), Geoffrey W Greene (a5), Wen Guo (a6), Kendra K Kattelmann (a7), Melissa Olfert (a8), Jennifer Walsh (a9) and Adrienne B White (a9)...

Abstract

Objective

The present study evaluated the restaurant and dining venues on and near post-secondary campuses varying in institution size.

Design

The Nutrition Environment Measures Survey for Restaurants (NEMS-R) was modified to evaluate restaurants as fast food, sit down and fast casual; and campus dining venues as dining halls, student unions and snack bar/cafés. ANOVA with post hoc Tukey's B and T tests were used to distinguish differences between dining venues and associated institutions by size.

Setting

The study was conducted at fifteen US post-secondary institutions, 2009–2011.

Subjects

Data presented are from a sample of 175 restaurants and sixty-eight on-campus dining venues.

Results

There were minimal differences in dining halls by institution size, although medium-sized institutions as compared with small-sized institutions offered significantly more healthful side dish/salad bar items. Dining halls scored significantly higher than student unions or snack bar/cafés on healthful entrées, side dish/salad bar and beverages offerings, but they also had the most barriers to healthful dietary habits (i.e. all-you-can-eat). No differences were found by restaurant type for NEMS-R scores for total restaurant dining environment or healthful entrées and barriers. Snack bars had more healthful side dishes (P = 0·002) and fast-food restaurants had the highest level of facilitators (i.e. nutrition information; P = 0·002).

Conclusions

Based on this evaluation in fifteen institutions, the full campus dining environment provides limited support for healthy eating and obesity prevention. The quality of campus dining environments can be improved via healthful offerings, providing nutrition information and other supports to facilitate healthy eating and prevent unwanted weight gain.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email thoracek@syr.edu

Footnotes

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Current affiliation: Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.

Current affiliation: Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, USA.

Footnotes

References

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Keywords

Assessment of the dining environment on and near the campuses of fifteen post-secondary institutions

  • Tanya M Horacek (a1), Maria B Erdman (a1), Carol Byrd-Bredbenner (a2), Gale Carey (a3), Sarah M Colby (a4), Geoffrey W Greene (a5), Wen Guo (a6), Kendra K Kattelmann (a7), Melissa Olfert (a8), Jennifer Walsh (a9) and Adrienne B White (a9)...

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