Life of a vegetarian college student: Health, lifestyle, and environmental perceptions

Melissa D. Olfert, Makenzie L. Barr, Anne E. Mathews, Tanya M. Horacek, Kristin Riggsbee, Wenjun Zhou, Sarah E. Colby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To examine health behavior and environmental perception differences among vegetarian and nonvegetarian students. Participants: First-year university students (n = 1078) from eight United States universities. Methods: Data were obtained from base 2015 and followup 2016 assessments. Vegetarians and nonvegetarians were compared for anthropometrics, lifestyle behaviors, and campus environmental perceptions (CEPS). Results: Vegetarians had smaller waist circumference, lower systolic blood pressure, higher fruit and vegetable consumption, lower percentage of energy obtained from fat, and higher perceived stress. Vegetarians expressed a lower rating of perceptions of health policies on campus. Conclusion: A clear difference in indicators of physical health does not appear, however, vegetarian students show positive dietary patterns which can promote positive health outcomes. Further, vegetarians had lower perceptions of health policies on campus. Results can be used by administrators to ensure policies are in place to support health of students as currently vegetarian students see limitations in the environmental health policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a research grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2014-67001-21851 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, “Get Fruved:” A peer-led, train-the-trainer social marketing intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake and prevent childhood obesity –A2101, as well as West Virginia University Experimental Station Hatch no. WVA00627 and WVA00641. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of the data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results. We would like to thank the research participants. Further we would like to thank our multistate partners from the Healthy Campus Research Consortium.

Funding Information:
This project was supported by AFRI Grant no. 2014-67001-21851 from the USDA NIFA, ?Get Fruved:? A peer-led, train-the-trainer social marketing intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake and prevent childhood obesity ?A2101 along with support from West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station WVA00689 and WVA00721 This work was supported by a research grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2014-67001-21851 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, ?Get Fruved:? A peer-led, train-the-trainer social marketing intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake and prevent childhood obesity ?A2101, as well as West Virginia University Experimental Station Hatch no. WVA00627 and WVA00641. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of the data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results. We would like to thank the research participants. Further we would like to thank our multistate partners from the Healthy Campus Research Consortium.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • college
  • perceptions
  • vegetarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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