campus dining; food purchases; food environment; university dining environment; more healthful; less healthful
The purpose of this study is to determine the availability of "more healthful" (MH) versus "less healthful" (LH) entrée items in the campus dining and if students' purchases are reflective of what is offered. This is an observational study in which purchases of the available entrée items in the campus dining at South Dakota State University in one academic year were collected and categorized as either MH or LH according to the American Heart Association guidelines. Chi-square tests were used to determine the differences between the proportion of purchased MH and LH versus those available. Odds ratio estimates with 95% confidence limits were used to determine the associations between the demographics and MH and LH purchases. Of the total entrée items available, 15.0% were MH and 85.0% were LH. In the fall, 8.0% of purchases were MH and 92.0% purchases were LH as compared to 8.9% MH and 91.1% LH in the spring. Whites were less likely than non-whites to purchase a MH entrée. Females were two times more likely to choose MH entrées than males. The campus dining offerings and students' purchases of entrees were primarily LH. Work with campus dining providers to create profitable, yet healthful, dining entrees is needed to improve the healthfulness of offerings.
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