Document Type


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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences


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/cafe ́s. 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/cafe ́s on healthful entre ́es, 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 entre ́es and barriers. Snack bars had more healthful side dishes (P 5 0?002) and fast-food restaurants had the highest level of facilitators (i.e. nutrition information; P 5 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.

Source Citation

Horacek, T., Erdman, M., Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Carey, G., Colby, S., Greene, G., . . . White, A. (2013). Assessment of the dining environment on and near the campuses of fifteen post-secondary institutions. Public Health Nutrition, 16(7), 1186-1196. doi:10.1017/S1368980012004454


Copyright © The Authors 2012

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