The food environment is a determinant of dietary intake for both staff and students at Edith Cowan University (ECU). Purpose: This study aims to describe (1) the proportion of food and beverages classified as red, amber and green in accordance with the Healthier Food and Drink Guide, part of a Western Australian workplace initiative, across all ECU outlets; (2) cafe owner/manager perceptions towards increasing the proportion of green items. Methods: Outlets across three ECU campuses were audited via visual analysis from point of sale and all items were recorded and classified as red, green or amber, according to criteria outline in the Healthier Food and Drink Guide. Proportions of each category were calculated. Interviews were conducted with 8 owners/managers to determine perceptions towards increasing the proportion of green classified choices in their outlets. Findings: Of the 8 outlets audited; average 9% green items (recommended minimum 40%); 65% red items (recommended maximum 30%). During interviews (n=6), 5 had heard of the guide although 4 didnâ€™t use the guide for anything and only 1 participant correctly categorised 5 selected items. Half the participants identified customer feedback as the primary motivation for food and beverage selection; none perceived nutritional content as the primary reason for choosing the cafe. All Owner/Managers wanted to increase proportion green items and 4 requested University support for healthy options. Discussion:
Possible future interventions may need to target consumer attitudes towards purchasing healthier options. An incentive program, such as a star-rating system, is being considered to promote healthier options for campus consumers.
health, nutrition, advocacy, evaluation, social determinants of health Key messages
- 1. The nutritional quality of food and beverages available on ECU campuses does not meet the recommended proportions of red, amber and green classifications according to the Healthier Food and Drink Guide
- 2. Most cafe owner/managers are unable to effectively use the Healthier Food and Drink guide to classify food and beverages
- 3. All cafe owner/managers would like to increase the proportion of healthy options in the future