Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science, Obesity
Objectives : FRUVED (FRUits and Vegetables) is a grant funded by the USDA to collect health and wellness data via surveys of college students. The overarching goal of the project is to promote overall mental and physical healthfulness and decrease obesity on college campuses.
Methods : 90 schools (45 control and 45 intervention) completed a series of environmental, social, behavioral and demographic surveys to assess the climate of the institution. At least 50 students from each school also completed surveys to assess their perceptions, physical activity, sleep habits and stress. The surveys were completed at the start and end of the 2017-18 school year. Schools chosen as intervention schools received feedback and information throughout the year, whereas control schools strictly submitted the surveys. The data was compiled by the schools spearheading the study (University of Tennessee, West Virginia University, South Dakota State University and University of Florida) and individual school data compared to the national averages were given to each participating school. Ursuline College is a small women’s focused (97% women) liberal arts school that was designated as a control school.
Results : The results compare Ursuline college with the national average. Some indicators that were self-reported by the students, like fruits and vegetable intake, were lower at Ursuline (2.5 cups/day) than the national average (3.3 cups/day); however both cohorts consumed lower than the recommended 4.5 cups/day. Additionally, sleep was also lower for Ursuline (6.5 hours per night) versus the national average (6.6 hours per night). Again, both these results are lower than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep for this age group. Activity levels were well above the weekly recommendations for Ursuline. This may be skewed due to the number of student athletes in the student body. Finally, stress levels were found to be a bit higher for Ursuline students compared to the national average. Forthcoming, is additional information from the environmental surveys, including access, policies and facilities, as well as statistical analysis.
Although Ursuline College is a small woman’s-focused (97% undergraduate women) liberal arts school overall perceptions, physical and mental activities are somewhat representative of the national data. These results suggest college-age students health choices are similar regardless of environment.
Funding Sources : USDA