All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Retta Evans

Advisory Committee Members

Scott Snyder

Larrell Wilkinson

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts in Education (MAE) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore University of Alabama at Birmingham students' perceptions of the availability, accessibility and barriers of healthy eating on campus. There was a total sample of 33 participants; 28 participated in focus groups, and 5 were interviewed. Barriers for healthy eating on campus included: accessibility, price, food factors, and student input. Focus groups and interviews were recorded, transcribed, and then analyzed to find themes and subthemes. The themes that emerged were accessibility, money, food, education, and student opinion. These themes were the same for focus groups and interviews. However, subthemes varied between focus groups and interviews. Students seemed to feel like unhealthy and processed foods are more available and accessible than healthy foods. In addition, students reported that for the most part, the healthy foods available on campus were processed, not of good quality, and tasted badly. Barriers for healthy eating on campus included: accessibility, price, food factors, and student input. Students felt like these barriers were not facilitating healthy eating at UAB's campus. Recommendations for implementation were made to UAB Campus Dining. By working together with students, a greater sense of community and a healthier nutrition environment can be achieved.

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