Food access on campus: A place based socio-spatial method to measure structural barriers within the campus food environment

Date

12/31/2015

Authors

Ray, Allison

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Abstract

This study conceptualizes and pilot tests a place based socio-spatial method to measure food access on a university campus. Using a sociological case study, mixed-methods approach, this study combines spatial and ethnographic data collection methods and analytical strategies to describe structural barriers to food access on campus and within a quarter-mile walking distance from university housing. Spatial data, ethnographic data, and retail food establishment inventory results from the Infrastructure Pedestrian Network Observation Tool and Campus Food Environment Measure suggest three major areas of concern foods for students who live in university housing: (1) physical lack of access to food on campus, (2) food on and in proximity to campus is expensive, and (3) a serious lack of healthy and culturally appropriate. The Campus Food Environment Measure and inventory tools are available for use.

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Keywords

Earth sciences, Campus food environment, Ethnography, Food access, Food insecurity, Spatial analysis, Social sciences

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