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Title: University food environment, an example of health inequality?
Authors: Cuschieri, Sarah
Camilleri, Ryan
Grech, Stephan
Keywords: Obesity -- Malta
Universities and colleges -- Food service -- Malta
Natural foods -- Malta
Vending machines -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019-10
Publisher: University of Malta. Medical School
Citation: Cuschieri, S., Camilleri, R., & Grech, S. (2019). University food environment, an example of health inequality? Malta Medical School Gazette, 3(2), 24-28.
Abstract: Background: Universities provide an influential life structure for students during their transition into adulthood through tuition as well as through the ground’s environment. Ensuring a healthy and safe university environment forms the basis of health equity within such institutions. The objective was to evaluate the food environment through vending machines situated across the grounds of the only state university in Malta, whilst acquiring students’ perspective on these facilities. Method: An audit was conducted on the food and beverage items available within vending machines across university grounds. This was reevaluated a year later. Students’ perceptions and use of such facilities were gathered through electronic-distributed questionnaires. Results: All machines were stocked with identical sugary items. 71.03% of responders purchased from machines due to their easy accessibility, while 61% considered items as “too unhealthy”, with 74.60% showing enthusiasm for healthier choices. 60% reported a willingness to pay more in exchange for healthier options. Conclusion: Limited consumable options leave students without healthier options on campus. Provision of a healthier food environment is a prerequisite in addressing health inequalities. Action is required to tackle this situation urgently especially due to the growing obesity epidemic.
Appears in Collections:MMSG, Volume 3, Issue 2
MMSG, Volume 3, Issue 2
Scholarly Works - FacM&SAna

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