Honors College
 

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Abstract

Obesity impacts one in six young adults, ages 20-29, and is a major risk factor for chronic disease. An environmental audit of the University of Maine campus was conducted to identify supports for healthful lifestyles by assessing the vending, dining, and recreation environments. Instruments developed by a multistate research team were used to determine scores and percentages for the audit. Ten buildings were assessed in the vending assessment. The mean healthful snack percentage was 17% and the mean healthful beverage percentage was 18% of total items. Two on-campus and seven off- campus dining establishments were assessed. The on-campus dining establishments scored 72% and 67%, respectively, receiving the highest scores compared to the off- campus dining establishments where Margaritas, the local Mexican restaurant, scored 43% as the lowest scored dining establishment. One on-campus and three off-campus recreation facilities were assessed. The on-campus New Balance Recreation Center scored 78%, receiving the highest score compared to the off-campus recreation facilities, where Orchard Trails fitness center scored 46% as the lowest scored recreation facility primarily due to its small size with limited offerings. The overall on-campus fitness environment scored 88%. There were barriers in the off-campus food environment for supporting healthful lifestyles. For example, restaurants lacked a variety of healthful menu options and did not promote sustainability/green eating. The off-campus food and fitness environment lacks important characteristics to be deemed health promoting. Although there are areas for improvement, the current on-campus environment at the University of Maine is health promoting.

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