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Healthy Food Options for College Students

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 1128 words Published: 21st Sep 2017

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Priya Gunasekaran

Purpose Statement/ Research questions

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of college students living arrangements (independent variable) of food consumption (dependent variable), based on a college campus (the research site). Fruits and vegetables vs processed foods (control variable) focuses on modifying college student’s dietary intake and preferences in dining halls. The independent variable(s) living arrangements was defined as college students living in residential halls, living in a rented apartment (off campus), and living with their family. (El Ansari et al., 2012; Laska et al., 2010; Ridell et al., 2011). The dependent variable(s) will be food consumption defined as measuring the amount of foods consume through meals. (El Ansari et al., 2012). The control and intervening variable(s), fruits and vegetables (identify the control and intervening variables) will be defined as the daily average intake serving of fruits and vegetables consumed. Boek et al., 2012; El Ansari et al., 2012; Graham et al., 2013; O’Donnell et al., 2014; Yeh et al., 2010 ). This study will contribute to enhancing healthier food options for college students as well as to meet their nutritional needs. Also, a food frequency survey will be utilized to access how often do college students consume healthier options vs processed food based on their living arrangements.

Research Questions

Does living arrangement impact college students’ food consumption on healthier foods vs processed foods at campus dining halls?

Null Hypothesis: There is no difference between choosing processed foods or healthier foods in college students food consumption based on living arrangement.

Alternative Hypothesis: There is a difference between choosing processed foods or healthier foods in college students food consumption based on living arrangement.

Hypothesis: College students with better food consumption are likely to consume more fruits and vegetables than processed foods that are unhealthy.

Descriptive Questions

1. How does living arrangement affect college student food choices?

2. What are the factors that influence food consumption on college students?

3. How do college students rate on fruits and vegetable consumption vs processed foods based on their living arrangements?

Inferential Question

1. How does food consumption depend on living arrangements on college students?

2. Does the consumption of fruits and vegetables help college student make smart, healthy food choices than choosing processed foods?


Boek, S., Bianco-Simeral, S., Chan, K., & Goto, K. (2012). Gender and Race are Significant Determinants of Students’ Food Choices on a College Campus. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 44372-378. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607739

Boucher, D., Gagne, C., & Cote, F. (2015). Effect of an intervention mapping approach to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables among young adults in junior college: A quasi-experimental study. Psychology & Health, (11), 1306. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25970738

El Ansari, W., Stock, C., & Mikolajczyk Rafael, T. (2012). Relationships between food consumption and living arrangements among university students in four European countries – A cross-sectional study. Nutrition Journal, Vol 11, Iss 1, P 28 (2012), (1), 28. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3420253/

Fernandes, A. C., de Oliveira, R. C., Rodrigues, V. M., Fiates, G. R., & da Costa Proença, R. P. (2015). Perceptions of university students regarding calories, food healthiness, and the importance of calorie information in menu labelling. Appetite. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25865662

Graham, D. J., Pelletier, J. E., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Lust, K., & Laska, M. N. (2013). Research: Perceived Social-Ecological Factors Associated with Fruit and Vegetable Purchasing, Preparation, and Consumption among Young Adults. Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 1131366-1374. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23958116

Laska, M. N., Larson, N. I., Neumark-Sztainer, D., & Story, M. (2010). Dietary patterns and home food availability during emerging adulthood: do they differ by living situation? Public Health Nutrition, 13 (2), 222-228. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931267/ 

O’Donnell, S., Greene, G. W., & Blissmer, B. (2014). The Effect of Goal Setting on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Physical Activity Level in a Web-Based Intervention. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 46 (6), 570-575. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24857600 

Riddell, L. J., Ang, B., Keast, R. S., & Hunter, W. (2011). Research report: Impact of living arrangements and nationality on food habits and nutrient intakes in young adults. Appetite, 56726-731. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21349307 

Yeh, M., Matsumori, B., Obenchain, J., Viladrich, A., Das, D., & Navder, K. (2010). Validity of a Competing Food Choice Construct regarding Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Urban College Freshmen. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 42 (5), 321-327. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20655281 


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