Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Lacey McCormick


dietary patterns, green eating, rural, students, urban, Young-adults


Background: Green Eating is a multidisciplinary approach to health in economic, public health, and environmental issues. GE has an evident impact on the quality of life in young adults, especially those on college campuses. Current evidence already supports an improved dietary intake in those who adopt GE behaviors. Objective: To determine if a university’s campus location affects first-year students’ exposure to green eating. We hypothesize that first-year students on university campuses located in urban settings are more likely to report GE awareness and practices than in rural settings.
Methods: First-year students were recruited for the GetFruved study in late summer 2015 via email and data collection begun early fall 2015. The total number of participants was 1,149.
Analysis: A cross-sectional, secondary analysis was completed. Green eating variables were dichotomized into ‘Always/Often’ and ‘Sometimes/Rarely/Never’ and logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between green eating and self-reported region while controlling for gender, vegetarian status, and residence hall status.
Results: Of the 25 green eating questions analyzed, 17 were significantly associated with region. Those who live in the NE are 83% more likely to consider themselves a green eater as compared to those in the Midwest (p=0.008). SW is four times (4.02) more likely to purchase meat that is “free-range” or “grass-fed” with NE (2.69) and SE (1.83) to follow. SE was the lone significant region for “how often do you shop at farmers markets” (0.58) and “eating minimal processed food is better for my health” (1.61). Residence hall was only significant for one question (p=Conclusions: Students living in urban areas are more inclined to always/often report positive GE eating behaviors opposed those in rural areas. Positive behaviors toward in GE in young adults can shift the consumer demand from low-cost convivence food to better quality foods and therefore, largely impact their diets.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

College students -- Nutrition.
Rural college students -- Nutrition.
Local foods.
Natural foods.
Food consumption -- Environmental aspects.
Food preferences.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted